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Princeton, N. J. t 

Bequeathed by the Hon. E. BOUDI\OT, LL.D. % 

Case DWision..j*Sjpw*w<.-^| 


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O F T H E 


O F 


Late Prime Minister of Denmark; 

Together with 

Letters of his Parents to Him, and alio 
a Letter of his own ; wherein he relates how 
he came to alter his Sentiments of Religion. 

Publilhed by D.MUNTER, 

An Eminent Divine, who was ordered by the 

King to prepare him for Death. 



O F 


From the Time of his Imprifonment to his Death. 

Together with two anonymous Letters, found in 
his Pocket-Book, wherein he wfcs forewarned of what 
happened to him Four Months after j and likewife an 
exact Copy of his SENTENCE. 

The Whole tranflated from 

Embelliihed with the Heads and Coats of Arms of both the 
unhappy Counts. 


Printed for U. Linde, Stationer, in Bridges-Street, 
Covent-Garden, mdcclxxiii. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

Princeton Theological Seminary Library 

( « ) 


O F T H E 


7\/[0 S T accounts which are given of 

converfions of hardened finners, are 

drawn up with more enthufiafin than rea- 

fon, and are too frequently embelliß^ed with 

declamations, tales, dreams, and other infig- 

nificant trifies ; fo that Chrifiians, who are 

better acquainted with the true fpirit of our 

divine religion, muß be offended by them ; and 

others, who are no friends of religion, will 

certainly turn them into ridicule, and harden 

themfelves in their unbelief and immorality. 

The Tranfiat or took the original of this book 

A 2 into 

( iv ) 

into his hand with prepoßeßions of this kind\ 
but he found himfelf agreeably deceived, and 
thought it, after an attentive readings capable 
of promoting the caufe of true religio?! and real 
ipirtue, for both which he is not ajhamed tq 
profefs himfelf a warm advocate. With this 
view he undertook the tranßation of it, fear- 
ing that in thifc as well as in all other 
nations, there are but too many whofe prin- 
ciples of religion and morality are ßmilar to 
thofe of Struenfe, and who indulge them-. 
felves, according to their fiations and oppor- 
tunities, full as much as he did, in every 
paffion and vice which proved his ruin. 

There is one thing which muß recommend this 
account to the particular attention of the reader ; 
and that is, its authenticity : for there is not 
the leaf doubt in this refpec~l, which the Tran- 
ßator could not engage to fatisfy, if it was 
required ; but he trußs, that a candid pe- 
rufal of the work itfelf will afford fufficient 
evidence of its being genuine. D. Munter, 
who is the undoubted Author of the account 
concerning Struenfee, is an eminent Divine, 


( v ) 

and ReBor of one of the principal German 
churches at Copenhagen ; and the character 
he bears is fufßcient to eßablifo its vera- 
city. The fame muß be faid of the Hi- 
fiory of Count Brandt, which was writ- 
ten by D. Hee. The/e clergymen werejpeci- 
ally appointed by the King of Denmark, to 
attend the two refpeBive fate pr if oners ; and 
therefore the E?zgli/7j reader is dejired to re- 
move all unfavourable imprefions, which are 
generally annexed to publications of gaol ordi- 

As to the tranßation, the Tranßator owns, 
that it would be the highefl prefumption in 
him to pretend to any elegance of flyle ; he 
being a Foreigner, who, but a few years 
ago, was entirely unacquainted with the 
Engli/Jj language. He hopes, therefore, the 
candid Englijh reader, who is maß er of his 
native tongue, will overlook the faults he may 
here happen to meet with. — He further de- 
clares, that though he is fire he has not 
wilfully mißaken the original, which he 
may be fuppofed to be in feme tneafure 
A 2 a maßer 

( vi ) 

a maß er of, from his education and profeßion, 
yet he has, according to the rule of Horace, 
not tranflated word for word; and many 
■places where the good Doctors appeared to him 
a little declamatory, and too prolix in explain- 
ing fpeculative doBrines, he has partly left 
cut, and partly abridged-, and he is now, after 
the whole is finifhed,fo far from thinking that 
he has done wrong in this refpeB, that he rather 
wißoes he had left out a great deal more* 
Neverthelefs, every thing of importance is 
tränßated, and thofe paffages which are Stru- 
enfee*s own words are, together with his 
letter to D. Munter and all other letters 
through the whole book, tränßated verbatim ; 
and the Englißj reader, who is wholly unac- 
quainted with the language of the original, 
and therefore enabled to perufe the tranßation 
only, may rely upon his reading a faithful one. 

( ™ ) 


MANY reafons have induced meto re- 
late the falutary reformation of 
Count Struenfee. He has made much 
noife in the world. Every thing that is 
written about him is read with eager- 
nefs. Perhaps this account may be per- 
ufed with utility, and even excite the 
attention of thofe who are of the fame way 
of thinking as Struenfee formerly was, to- 
reflect ferioully on religion and morality. 
He himielf wifhed that thofe, who 
through him were feduced to a contempt 
of religion and morality, or were only mif- 
kd in their notions of religion and virtue, 
might be made acquainted of his return to 
truth and better fcntiments, and of the 
manner in which he was reformed. He 


( . viii ) 
hoped that by this means, thofe bad im- 
preffions might be effaced, which he had 

made upon their minds. Laftly, his 

converfion will reconcile him again to the 
virtuous, whom his principles and his ex- 
ample might have offended. 

That I may the better convince my 
readers, of the truth of what I relate, 
I have chofen to give an account of every 
fingle interview I had with him. I never 
went to him unprepared. I meditated on 
every fubjed: firft, and then wrote it down.- 
As foon as I came home, I entered in my 
journal what had happened and what he 
faid, and wherever I have introduced him 
fpeaking, it is as near as poffible in his 
own words. 

Some things which I relate may be 
J-ooked upon as trifling, but fenfible readers 
will oftentimes find the character of a per- 
fon placed in a llronger light by thefe 
trifles, and then they ceafe to be fuch, and 
do not defer ve this name. 


( « ) 

The books I gave from time to time to 
the Count, and which he perufed with 
attention, filled up many vacancies in my 
inftru&ion. They prepared him for that 
which followed, and enlightened his un- 
derstanding more in one month, than by 
mere converfation could have been done in 

Kow the account given by Struenfee 
himfelf in his own writing arofe, I have 
related in the courfe of the narrative itfelf. 
But is it true that he wrote it himfelf? His 
hand-writing is well enough known in Den- 
mark, the paper he wrote upon was given 
him by his judges, every meet was num- 
bered and figned by them, and could reach 
no other perfons hands but his. — But have 
I dictated to him the contents ? I declare 
that it fully can be proved, that he, during 
my abience, filled up thofe fheets, which 
were marked, and were given him one by 
one, and were delivered up again in the 
fame manner. But is what he has drawn 
up, and which I publifh here, a true ac- 

( s ) 

count, is it agreeable to the original ? 
Whoever entertains doubts of this kind, may 
infpedt the original itfelf, which is in my 
pofleffion, or may take it along with him 
for a time, fufficient to compare it with 
the copy. I thought it neceflary to men- 
tion all thefe particulars, becaufe I know, 
how little the narrative of a clergyman, 
concerning the converfion of a deift, is 
credited by thofe, whofe party he has left. 
They always are ready to fay: It is all 
impofition. However, they certainly will 
not be able to prove it in this inftance. 
If they mould fay, that Struenfee turned 
chriftian through fear, or that he was out 
of his mind, or that I ftunned him with 
my declamations ; I muri leave it to them 
to judge as they think proper. 

My intention in publishing what 

Strnenfee with his own hand has drawn 

up, is to make it appear, that he himfelf 

had attentively confidered his former fyftem 

as well as chriftianity, and that, after fuch 

a mature confideration, he was induced to 


( ri ) 

quit the former, and to embrace the 

An accuracy in ideas and expreffions, 
no body will expect in the writings of a 
man, who ftudied religion but a few 
months, who through the whole courie 
of his former life thought very little of it, 
and who never wrote a word about it. If 
it mould be found entirely wanting in 
fome places, I hope every chriftian (and 
every chriftian will judge according to 
charity) will not charge him with herefy, 
which was (even the name of it) unknown 
to him. The chief point, that he died 
trufting in the mercy of God through 
Chrift Jefus, with fentiments as well re- 
formed as could be done without a miracle, 
I hope no body will difpute. But I fcarce 
dare to judge of the merit of this conver- 
fion, fince it concerns me too much, and 
I wifh too ardently that every one may 
believe it to be a fmcere one; even this 
fhews me the danger I am in, of deceiving 
myfelf in my opinion. Therefore, having 


( *s ) 

here faithfully given the narrative of this 
converfion, I leave it to fenfible and judi- 
cious chriflians to determine concerning the 
probability of it. 

I do not know whether I have occafion 
to declare, that by the account which I 
give here, my intention is neither to render 
the Count's memory odious, nor to apolo- 
gize for him, Thofe who on account of 
his crimes, have juft reafon to be prejudiced 
againfl him, will now think it their duty 
to forgive him, and to pity his former in- 
fatuation. Thofe who find his behaviour 
in the latter part of his life decent and be- 
coming a chriitian, will not forget what he 
was before, and how inevitably he drew 
his melancholy fate upon himfelf. 

Copenhagen, 'June the 2 2d, 1772. 

P. So, 1. 14. for now found* tend formerly thought. 



fl I i li' i it 


H I S T O R Y 

O F T H B 


O F 


COUNT Struenfee had, neither before nor 
during the time of his greateft profperity^ 
fhewn himfelf a religious or a moral man, at 
leaft no one could think him to be fuch ; his 
own example, fome of his public regulations, 
and his aboliihing fuch laws as were made 
to reftrain vice and immorality, feemed clearly 
to prove, that the general opinion concerning 
his fentiments of religion was not altogether ill 
founded. Whoever had the moil favourable 
opinion of him, thought him an inconfiderate 
man, who had given himfelf up entirely to 
pleafure and ambition, and who perhaps micrht 
recover from his errors. But all fenfible people 
agreed in this, that during his adminiftration 
religion had every thing to fear, and that the 
B morals 

( 2 ) 

morals of the people, at lead in the metropolis,, 
were in danger of becoming wild* and ungo- 

Thefe reflections occafioned many honeft and 
good people, who are incapable of rejoicing at 
the misfortunes of others, to look upon the i yth 
of January, the day when Struenfee fell, as one 
of the happieft days in their life : they faw the 
rights of virtue and piety fecured from that 
danger which feemed to threaten them ; they 
wifhed that the man, from whom no more was 
to be feared, and whofe unhappy fate might 
eafily be foretold, would acknowledge his errors 
and his crimes, and that God afterwards would 
grant him mercy. 

When by the committee that was appointed 
to enquire into his affairs, fo much was difco- 
vered that it was fure his life would fall a facri- 
fice to public juflice, I received the King's 
orders to vifit him in his prifon, and to mind 
the welfare of his foul. I did not know the 
man, nor did he know me ; and as to our prin- 
ciples and lentiments, they were to all appear- 
ance very different. I had even to expect that 
my profeflion and the intent I vifited him with 
would make him diftruft me ; on the other hand, 
I had little reafon to put great confidence in 
him. However, I entertained fome hopes, that 
in his prefent fituation he might find even a con- 


( 3 1 

verfation with a clergyman not quite infupport- 
able -, and the compaflion I had for him would 
never permit me to prepofiefs him againft me 
by fevere and ill-timed expoftulations. Befides, 
I was told by fome of his former acquaintance, 
that he was open, and in fome refpects fincere ; 
I thought it therefore not impofllble to efta- 
blifh a friendfhip between us that might pro- 
mote my intention concerning him. With thefe 
hopes I began to vifit him, and I praife God for 
the bleffing he has granted to my labours. 

T^heßrß Co?iference. March thefirß^ 1772. 

I Could at prefent have no other view . but 
only to lay fome foundation for our mutual 
confidence, and to make him look upon the 
intention of my vifits as important, and, when 
an opportunity mould offer, to know his fenti- 
ments about religion. 

When he was told I was there, and wifhed to 
fpeak to him, he enquired whether I came by 
command ? being anfwered in the affirmative, 
he complied. He received me with a four and 
gloomy countenance, in he attitude of a man 
who was prepared to receive many fevere re- 
proaches, with a filence that ihewed contempt. 
We were alone, and I was greatly moved, be- 
holding the mifery of a man who, but a few 
B 2 weeks 

( 4 ) 
weeks ago, was the firfl: and the moft powerful 
of all the King's fubjects. I could neither hide 
my feelings, nor would I. Good Count, faid I, 
you fee I come with a heart that is fenfibly 
affected for you : I know and feel my obliga- 
tions towards an unhappy man, whom God, I 
am lure, never intended to be born for fuch a 
misfortune. I fincerely wifh to'make my vifits, 
which I am ordered to pay you, agreeable and 
ufeful. — Here he quitted his affected attitude, 
his countenance grew more ferene, he gave me 
his hand, and thanked me for the mare I took 
in his fate. Our converfation, continued I, 
will be now and then difagreeable both to you 
and me -, but I profefs moft folemnly, that I 
(hall tell you even thefe melancholy truths, 
which I have to communicate to you, without 
feverity, and even with pain to myfelf. I know 
I have no right to give you any unneceffary un- 
eafinefs, and you may depend upon my fincerity. 
Should it happen that accidentally in our con- 
verfation a word mould flip from me which per- 
haps may appear offenfive, I declare before- 
hand that it never was faid with fuch a defign, 
and I beg that in fuch inftances you will over- 
look my precipitation. With an air and a look 
that appeared to me not very favourable, he 
replied, " Oh ! you may fay what you pleafe." 

I (hall 

( 5 ) 

I fhall certainly, good Count, fay nothing but 
what my great defire to contribute towards your 
future happinefs, as much as lies in my power, 
fhall oblige me to. I wifh to raife your 
attention to a ierious confideration of your 
moral ftate, and how you ftand in regard to 
God. You do not know how your fate in this 
world may be decided, and chriftianity, which I 
teach and believe, makes it my duty earneftly to 
wifh for your everlafting happinefs. Confider 
my vifits and my converfation only in this view, 
and I hope you will not difapprove of them. I 
had feveral reafons to decline the King's order 
which brings me to you : but the hope of com- 
forting you in your misfortunes, and of advifing 
you to avoid greater ones, was too important 
for me. Do not charge me with views of a 
meaner fort. I come not for my own fake, but 
only with an intent of being ufeful to you. 
He then confefled twice that he was fully con- 
vinced, I did it for his own advantage. 

If you are convinced of this, continued I with 
an emotion of heart, grant me then that confi- 
dence, which you cannot refufe a man, who is 
anxious for your welfare. I (hall return it with 
the mod thankful friendfliip, although you in 
the beginning mould take me for a weak and 
prejudiced man. I fliall not be tired in this 
B 3 friend- 

( 6 ) 
friendfhip, but endeavour to make it ufeful to 
you, fince I am your only friend upon earth» 
and fince you certainly will call upon your only 
friend for comfort. Here he flared at me, as I 
think, with tears in his eyes, and prefTed me by 
the hand. 

I found him moved, and endeavoured to make 
ufe of this advantageous moment. If you 
wifh to receive that comfort, faid I, which, in 
my opinion,. I can promife you as the only true 
one, do not cheriih that unhappy thought of 
dying like a philofophieal hero; for I doubt 
whether you will be able to keep it up to the 
end. I am afraid your courage will leave you 
at laft, though perhaps you may force yourfelf 
to fhew it outwardly. -Firmnefs and tranquillity 
of mind, on the near approach of death, is 
certainly the effect only of a good confcience. 
"In all my adverfities," anfwered he, " I have 
Jhewn firmnefs of mind, and agreeably to this 
character, I hope I ihall die not like an hypo- 
crite." Hypocrify, faid I, in fuch moments, 
would be ftiil worfe than an affected firmnefs, 
though even this would be a kind of hypocrify. 
In cafe of death, do not truft to your former 
refolution, and do not compare your former 
adverfities, which were perhaps nothing but 
ficknefs and diftrefs, with that fate which is now 


( 7 ) 

ready to fall upon you. — But perhaps you 
entertain fome hopes of faving your life ? — 
" No !" faid he, " I flatter myfelf with no 
hopes at all." — But you do not fee death near 
you, faid I ; you do not know the time when 
you mail leave this world ? Perhaps it is at fome 
months diftance. But, (here I took him by the 
hand) my dear Count, fuppofe I was ordered to 
tell you that you was to die to-day or to-morrow, 
would not your courage fail ? " I do not know," 
faid he. But, continued I, if your courage 
mould leave you, and it was then too late to 
look cut for comfort and hope, how do 'you 
think your heart would ftand affected ? He an- 
fwered nothing. You fee by this that the intent 
of our converfation is of great importance to 
you, and deferves all your attention. I aim at 
nothing lefs, than to prepare you for eternity, 
that it may be a happy one. , But I muft expecl: 
that we are not both of the fame opinion, in 
regard to the flate of man after death. Yet, 
though you might have perfuaded yourfelf that 
there is no life to come, and confequently neither 
rewards nor punimments, I cannot help think- 
ing that there never was a time, when you were 
fully convinced of it. Your inward feelings 
have frequently contradicted you. The thought 
of eternity frightened you, though unfortunately 
B 4 . you 

( 8 ) 

you had .art enough to ftifle it in its birth. — 
However, it will be always out of your power 
to prove that there is no eternity. 

He heard me with attention, but he would 
not own that he ever had any inward impreflions 
of immortality, or had been afraid of it. Per- 
haps he might have been, but he did not recol- 
lect it. He owned the thought, that he mould 
fopn entirely ceafe to be, was difagreeable to 
him -, it frightened him, he wifhed to live, even 
if it were with lefs happinefs than he now enjoyed 
in his priibn. But he added, he did not find the 
thought of total annihilation fo terrible as he had 
found it was to many, who entertained the fame 
fentiments with him. 

I continued, You cannot deny the poffibility 
of a future life, for there is at leaft as much 
probability for it as there is againft it. I believe 
I could evince from mere reafon, that eternity 
is highly probable, which in fuch cafes amounts 
almoft to certainty. But fuppofe it was only 
probable, which you muft agree to, it is even 
then a matter of great importance to you, for 
you to know what may perhaps happen to 
you hereafter. In cafe you had to fear an un- 
happy life, you mould prepare yourfelf againft it, 
or make it at leaft tolerable. — He agreed to this, 
fc>ut added, " You will hardly make me believe 


( 9 ) 

that there is a future life, and though you 
perhaps may convince my underftanding by 
reafons which I cannot overthrow, my heart 
however will not yield to the conviction. My 
opinion, which is oppofite to your's, is fo 
ftrongly woven into my fentiments •, I have fo 
many arguments in favour of it •, I have made 
fo many obfervations from anatomy and phyfic, 
which confirm it, that I think it will be impoffible 
for me to renounce my principles. This how- 
ever I promife, that I will not wilfully oppofe 
your endeavours to enlighten me, but rather wifh, 
as far as it lies in my power, to concur with you. 
I will not diiTemble, but honeftly tell you of 
what I am convinced, and of what I am not. I 
will deal with you openly ; this is my character, 
and my friends can bear witnefs to it." In our 
enquiries, I defired him to guard againft his care- 
lefs way of thinking, to which, in my opinion, 
he had been hitherto addicted, and which had 
thrown him into this depth of mifery. He 
anfwered ■ 

" I do not deny my having lived inconfi- 
derately in the world, and I feel now the con- 
fequences of it." 

I truft in your promife, added I, that you 
will deal with me honeftly. If you did not, you 
would impoie upon me, though perhaps but for 

a, few 

C io ) 

a few days. But you certainly cannot deceive 
the Supreme Being and your own confcience. 
It would give me the higheft pleafure if my 
intentions fhonld fucceed. But befides the 
afliftance of God, you muft do all the reft your- 
felf. I can only guide you, and it is your own 
intereft to mind your welfare, and you are 
obliged to employ all the time which is left you 
upon this bufinefs. 

I afterwards defired him to acquaint me with 
his fyftem of religion, that I might be able to 
judge, where our opinions differed. I am in- 
clined to think you are not a chriftian, and you 
may eafily guefs how much I wiih you to be 
one. It is not my intention to force chriftianity 
upon you ; but I hope to reprefent it to you 
as fo important and amiable, that you yourfelf 
will think you ftand greatly in need of it. He 
anfwered : 

" It was true, he was very far from being a 
chriftian, though he acknowledged and adored 
a Supreme Being, and believed that the world 
and mankind had their origin from God. — He 
could never perfuade himfelf, that man confifted 
of two fubftances. He looked upon himfelf 
and all other men as mere machines ; he had 
borrowed this fyftem, not from de la Mettrie, 
whofe book he had never read, . but had formed 


( II ) 

it by his own meditation. It was God that ruft 
animated this human machine ; but as foon as 
its motion ceafed, that is, when man died, 
there was no more for him either to hope or 
to fear. He did not deny that man was en- 
dowed with fome power of liberty, but his free 
actions were determined only by his fenfations. 
Therefore, man's actions could be accounted 
moral, only as far as they related to fociety. 
Every thing that man could do, ' was in itfelf 
indifferent. God did not concern himfelf about 
our actions, and if their confequences were in 
man's own power, and he could prevent their 
being hurtful to fociety, nobody had a right 
to reproach him about them. He added, he 
muft own, that he was very forry for fome of 
his actions, and in particular, that he had 
drawn others with him into misfortunes •, but 
he feared no bad confequences or punifhments 
after this life. He could not fee, why fuch 
punifhments were neceflary to fatisfy the juftice of 
God, even though he allowed that God minded 
our actions. Man was punifhed already enough 
in this world for his tranfgreflions. He him- 
felf was certainly not happy during the time of 
his greater! profperity. He had, at leafl during 
the laft months of it, to ftruggle with many 
difagreeable paflions. — One of his principal ob- 

C 12 ) 

jections againft chriftianity was, that it was not 
univerfal. If it were, really a divine revelation, it 
abfolutely fliould have been given to all mankind." 
I faid at this time but little to anfwer all this, 
but recommended to him an excellent book, 
which, as I hoped, would contribute towards 
clearing up his ideas about religion. He afked 
with a kind of diffidence, " What book ?" 
Jerulalem's Confiderations on the principal 
Truths of Religion, faid I •, a book which you 
will re#d with pleafure, if it even was only foi? 
the elegance of its ftile. He defired me to 
bring it to him. 

I had obferved, that he was really very uneafy 
about fome of his actions, and I thought proper 
to encreafe his uneafinefs. I fuppofe my readers 
know how much he was to be blamed for his 
conduct towards count Bernftorf *. I acquainted 
him, therefore, upon taking my leave of him, 
with his death. He called out with an emotion 
of heart : " What, is he dead ?" and feemed 
to fhudder. Yes, faid I, he is. His wifdom, 
religion, and piety, have preferved him the 

* Count Bernftorf was minifter of ftate in Denmark 
fince the year 1750. Struenfee got this great and beloved 
minifter diimifled, by a letter of the king's, dated Septem- 
ber the 15th, 1770, with a penfion of 6000 crowns ; he 
retired to Hamburgh, where he died the 18th of February, 

17?2 ' 


( '3 ) 

Character of a great man to the laft ; and it is 
generally believed, that the grief of his laft 
years had haftened his death. When^ I fpoke 
this, I looked at him with an air which he 
feemed to underftand, for he bluihed. 

The fecond Conference. March the third, 

TH E firft thing I had to do now, with 
Count Struenfee, was to convince him of 
the falfity of his fyftem, that man was a mere ma- 
chine. For hence he concluded, that there was no 
future life. Befid"s, as he looked upon eternity 
as a mere fable, he could not regard religion 
and morality. 

I reminded him of his promife, not to oppofe 
truth wilfully, but rather to meet it half way. 
You think your opinion, faid I, of man's being 
a mere machine, to be true, and you conclude 
from thence more, than there is in reality foun- 
dation for. However, I prefume, you think 
this opinion of yours is no more than a philofo- 
phical hypothefis, and in this view let us confider 
it to day. It is not very neceflary to enter into 
a particular confideration of it, for it cannot be 
proved from thence, that there is no futurity. 
However, let us confider it, that you may not 
think I intend to furprize you. — When I had 
2 exhaufted 

( 14 ) 

exhaufted all my arguments and reafonings, 1 
found they had but little effect upon his under- 
(landing. At lafl he owned, that the hypothetic* 
of the exiftence of a foul, was better founded 
than his. But he faid, he had good reafons to 
maintain his former fentiments ; for the know- 
ledge of man, was in general very uncertain. 
He might, perhaps, hitherto have impofed 
upon himfelf : but he was liable, as often as he 
adopted a new opinion, to be deceived. Befides, 
his mind was, in his prefent fituation, neither 
compofed nor ferene enough to examine his 
prefent principles. He mould have done this 
fooner j it was now too late. Several things 
being replied, the whole concluded with a feri- 
ous and tender exhortation, not to let the few 
lafl weeks of his life flip away ufelefs for eter- 
nity, but to do his bell, to enter into it with 
good hopes. He then looked very earneflly at 
me, and calling down his eyes, replied : 

" You mud have a great deal of goodnefs, 
humanity, anö MtrTfulrieß of a minifter, fince 
you are fo anxious about my welfare, and are 
not difpleafed at my not agreeing with you 
exactly in opinion." 

I aflfure you, continued I, I fhail not, until 
the very laft day of your life, defift from exhprt- 
ing* and intreating you, and I hope God will 


( H ) 

blefs my endeavours. But, good Count, I am 
afraid of your unhappy difpofition, which has 
contributed fo much to your misfortune ; your 
ambition, and your defire to be always in the 
right, prevents your doing juftice to truth. How 
is it poffible, that you can be ftill fond of an 
inclination, which has thrown you into fuch a 
mifery ? 

" Oh ! faid he, this inclination is gone, I am 
now very little in my own eyes ; and how 
could I be ambitious in this place !" This paf- 
fion, anfwered I, rages certainly flill in your 
foul. The occafions of mewing itfelf as for- 
merly are only wanting. But though it may 
oppofe the truth, if you indulge it, yet take 
heed, left defpifed truth mould revenge itfelf. 

Since it was now greatly my intereft, to 
foften his heart for humane and tender feelings» 
for by this I hoped to make way for religion ; 
I begged him to confider, how infinitely he had 
afflicted his parents, and how much it, therefore, 
was his duty, to ufe all his endeavours to 
procure them that only comfort which was left 
them, not to be anxious about his future flate. 
He arifwered, " My father is an honeft man, he 
acts according to his own fentiments ; but I 
believe he has treated me too feverely." You 
may think fo, faid I, but I fancy you are mif- 
3 taken. 

( 16 ) 

taken. Without doubt you have been extrava-» 
gartt from your very youth, which your honeft 
father difapprovcd. This you called feverity* 
" This is true, but" — But, faid I, you knew he 
was father, and you fon; Were you ignorant 
that you owed obedience to your father, who 
was befides an honeft man ? " I was dutiful to a 
certain age." But, faid I, were you after cer- 
tain years lefs fon, and he lefs father? Confucius, 
whofe moral fyftem, as I remember to have 
heard, you prefer to that Of Chrift, might have 
informed you better. He replied, " You are 
in the right !" 

I left him Jerufalem's Meditations *, which 
he promifed to read with attention, and took my 
leave of him, moved and in tears on account of 
his mifery. He defired me to vifit him foon again* 

The third Conference. March the fifth. 

TT7HEN I came to the Count, I addreffed 
* * him thus, — My heart tells me that we 
mail advance to-day a ftep forwards. I fee you 
read Jerufalem's Meditations. How far are you 
advanced, and how do you like the book ? " I 

* Conßderations on the principal Truths of Religion. 
To his Highnefs the Hereditary Prince of Brunfwlc. 
Vol» i. Third Edition. Brunf-wic. J770. 


( *7 ) 
am come already to that meditation which con- 
cerns the morality of man. The book is ex- 
cellently written, and I find nothing which 
contradicts my reafon. I found fomething againft 
my opinion of man's being a machine; but full 
I think fenfibility proves it, and explains every 
thing." I anfwered, that the organs of our 
fenfes were no more than mirrours and fpy-glaffes, 
through which we obferved the objefts ; that 
neither rnirrour nor fpy-glafs could fee any thing ; 
but there muft be a third, who obferved the ob- 
jects through thefe instruments, and this third 
was our foul, 

He was fenfible of this, but it feemed to be a 
hard matter for him to own he was in the wrong. 
Neverthelefs, it was neceflfary he mould make 
this confeffion before I could proceed any farther. 
I undertook therefore to prove, that the manner 
in which his opinion had taken its origin, and 
had interefted his heart fo much, tended neither 
to his credit nor to his advantage. I looked upon 
this as the beft means to expel one fhame by an- 
other. — He interrupted me very feldom during 
the time I was fpeaking, but heard with much 
attention, and owned that I had exactly pointed 
out the way which had led him to his opinion. 
After a (hort paufe on both fides, during which 
he feemed to be in a deep meditation, he called 
C out; 

( i8 ) 
out: "Oh! I hope now, and wifn for immor- 
tality." I guefled directly that the reading of 
Jerufalem had brought him fo far, and he foon 
afterwards faid himfelf ; " It is impoinble not to 
be brought over by that book." 

As he now hoped and wifhed for immortality, 
I thought it needlefs to enter into more ample 
difquifitions about the exiftence, nature and im- 
mortality of the foul. Befides, I was afraid that 
thefe fpeculative truths might detain us too long, 
and miflead us to various refearches which are 
but little adapted to make the heart better. It 
was enough for me that he now was fenfible of 
the exiftence of eternity : however, we talked 
to-day about the arguments for the exiftence of 
a foul. 

The falfe eafe, which hitherto had rendered the 
Count. infenfible, and which was fupported by 
his perfuafion of there being no future life, was 
now interrupted. I thought it neceffary to re- 
move it entirely before I could procure him true 
eafe of mind. I muft convince him therefore, 
that in that future life, which he hoped and 
wifhed for, he could not promife himfelf an 
agreeable fate ; and for this purpcie his notions 
of the morality of actions were to be rectified 
firft. My readers will recollect that he believed 


( *9 ) 
human actions only fo far good or bad as they 
were attended with good or bad confequencs to 
fociety. Before I could attack this propofition, 
I thought proper to fhew how little, even accord- 
ing to this principle, he fhould be able to' account 
for his actions before God. I might at prefenr, 
faid I, leave your rule by which you judge of 
the morality of actions unmolefted. Your 
actions even then would not bear icrutiny. I 
was furprized when he anfwered : 

" I find now, that it is by far better and furer 
to derive the motives of our actions from God, 
and to confider him as obferving them." 

Saying this, he pointed at Jerusalem's book, 
and I thanked in my heart this excellent man 
that he had promoted my endeavours fo far. 

In the mean time, I begged of the Count to 
reflect how immoral his actions had been, even 
according to his former principle of morality. 
I had now difcovered that fide where the wounds 
of his confcience fmarted moft. He was not by 
far fo much grieved at thinking that he had 
offended God, and made himfelf miferable, as 
that he had ruined his friends with him. This 
fenfation of his I laid hold en, and endeavoured 
to fupport and to increafe it, I hoped his pain 
C 2 might 

( 20 ) 

might by degrees become more univerfal, and 
extend itfelf over his other crimes. 

I had fcarcely began to touch him on this fide, 
when he burft into tears, and owned, that he 
found himfelf in this refpecl very culpable, and 
was ablblutely at a lofs to fay any thing in his 

Suppofe then, continued I, you had to re- 
proach yourfelf only with being the caufe of all 
the misfortunes your friends now labour under, 
it mult even then be very difficult or rather im- 
poflible to account for it before God. 

" I acknowledge this," laid he, " and there- 
fore mail fay nothing to excufe myfelf before 
God, and I hope he will not demand this of me. 
I truft in my repentance and his mercy. Do not 
you think God will forgive me on account of this 
philofophical repentance ?" 

According to my notions of repentance, I can 
give you no hopes. I know but one way to 
receive God's pardon, and this is not a philo- 
fophical but a Chriftian repentance. I cannot 
yet produce the reafons why I am obliged to 
think fo-, but if you only reflect on God's 
mercy, in which you truft, you will find that it 
is this very mercy which makes it neceflary for 
kirn to be juft, and to ihew his averfion to moral 


( 21 ) 

evil. Such mercy as that of God, which cannot 
degenerate into weaknefs, muft no doubt be very 
terrible to him who has offended againft it. I 
entreat you not to put a blind and ill-founded 
confidence in it. — Perhaps I pronounced this 
with a vifible emotion of heart, for he inter- 
rupted me, faying, " Your humanity muft be 
very great, fince your patience is not tired." 

It certainly fhall not be tired, but I am uneafy 
and in pain about you. 

" You muft not be fo much concerned for me. 
, — What would you do if I was fo unhappy as 
to remain unconvinced?" 

It would grieve me unfpeakably. I mould 
wifh to conceive good hopes of you, but I fear 
without ha.(on. Pray do what lies in your 
power, God will blefs your endeavours. I hope 
you will even yet, upon good grounds, think 
yourfelf pardoned by God, and be able to die 
with comfort and a fair profpect into eternity 
Here he called out, with a deep-fetched figh : 
" May God grant it'.'* 

He added, " You wifh, and I believe from 
good reafons, that I might become a Chriftian." 

To be fure, (replied I) I wifh it very much ; 

but you know favours are not forced upon any 

body; and it is natural for you to look out for the 

C 3 greateft 

( 22 ) 

greater!: that can be beflowed upon you. Learn 
to feel how dangerous your condition is, 
and your own wants and mifery will then compel 
you. to fearch for God's mercy, where it is only 
to be found. 

*' But pray," faid he, " how can chriftianity 
be the only way that is revealed by God for our 
everlafting happinefs, fince it is (o little known 
among mankind, and fince there are, even among 
chriinans themfelves, fo few that keep its pre- 
cepts ?" 

From your firft doubts, faid I, you mean tö 
draw the inference, that it was againft the good- 
nefs and jultice of God not to reveal to all men a 
doctrine which is the only one that can render 
man perfectly happy. But do you know whether 
God will not lave thofe who are ignorant of 
chriftianity by its difpenfations, if they behave 
as well as lies in their power ? And can a man, 
whom God has prelcnted with a bleffing, which 
he denied to others, think himfelf for this realbn 
intitled not to mind this blefiing or not to value 
'it, becaufe God has not given it to all men? 
Has he not diftributed all the bleffings of his 
mercy unequally among men ; for inftance, ho- 
nour, riches, health, talents, and even the 
knowledge of natural religion ? You fee by 


( 23 ) 
this that your objection proves more than you 

From your fecond doubt you will conclude, 
that, becaufe chriftianity is obierved by fo very 
few, therefore it cannot be a fufficient means to 
anfwer the purpofe, it is fa id, God intended it for, 
and confequently its origin cannot be a divine 
one. But I would wifn you to obferve, that it is 
a religion of free beings, and that they are under 
no controul in a matter which concerns their 
happinels. Befides, prejudices, errors and pafiions 
can' render the ftrongeft moral arguments ineffec- 
tual. However, it car. not be denied that man- 
kind, upon the whole, fince the eftablifhment of 
the chriftian religion, has been greatly reformed, 
and that its power over the human mind is 
ftronger than you feem to credit. 

" But even good chriftians," added he, cc often 
commit fins ! Shall, or can a man in this 
world be perfect ? and is the intention of chrifti- 
anity to produce effects, which, as to our prefent 
condition, are quite impoffible ?" 

There is a great difference between the fin of 
a true chriilian, of whom we fpeak only, and 
between the crimes of a wicked man. The 
former falls but he rifes again ; the latter con- 
tinues in his tranfgreffions and repeats them. 
C 4 And 

( 24 ) 

And if there was but one chriftian only upon 
the whole earth, whofe life did honour to his 
profelfion, it would be a fufficient reafon for 
every one that knew him, to examine the religion 
of this only chriftian, and to adopt it when he 
found it was well-grounded. He faid : "Oh! 
I have fo many of thefe doubts, that it will be 
the mofl difficult thing to fatisfy them all." 

He uttered this with a mien that expreffed 
great concern, and I thought proper to comfort 
him by faying, that his doubts would leffen ac- 
cording as he got more acquainted with chrifti- 
anity. And if there mould be left an uncertainty 
about fome point or other, he might reft fatisfied 
with thinking that God would judge him, accord- 
ing to the time he had had, the condition he was 
in, and the fincerity he fhewed in his fearching 
after truth; chriftianity concerned more the heart 
than the underftanding, — I difcovered a hope 
that he foon would become a chriftian, which he 
feemed to be pleafed with, and when I exhorted 
him to pray to God to enlighten jus mind, he 
afked : 

" Whether a hearty wifii, addrefied to God, 
was not already prayer or adoration ?" 

I anfwered in the affirmative ; and after fome 
txhortations took my leave, and gave him the book 


( 25 ) 

of Reim am s on the principal dcffrincs of natural 

'•The fourth Coiiference. March the eighth, 

T HAD now already great advantages in my 
■*■ hands. The Count was fenfible of an ap- 
proaching eternity, and could not, nor would he 
any more oppofe the impreflions which the pro- 
fpect of it made upon him. He was concerned 
about his moral condition, but not enough yet -, 
at leaft, not on account of the difpleafure of God, 
which he was labouring under. He wifhed 
chriflianity might comfort him, but he thought 
it Hill an impoflibility to be fully convinced of 
its truth. I now endeavoured to make chrifli- 
anity neceffary to him, for reafons which were 
derived from the mifery and danger he was in. 
I intended to give him opportunity from time to 
tjme, to get acquainted with the arguments of 
the chriftian religion ; that in the fame meafure, 
as his defire increafed after its comforts, the 
difficulties which he expected to meet with, might 
decreafe. But, before I could make him truly 
fenfible of the danger which his immoral life had 
thrown him into, we had firft to agree about the 
reafons, which the morality of human actions is 
grounded upon, 

i Since 

( 26 ) 

Since the Count now believed immortality, 
and in fome refpect, the morality of actions like- 
wife, I undertook to convince him that human 
actions are not good or bad, merely on account 
of their confequences in fociety, which hitherto 
had been his opinion. 

The reading of the feventh of Jerufalem's 
Meditations, which treats on the morality of hu- 
. man actions, had, as the Count himfelf owned, 
already removed many of his doubts, and taught 
him that true moral liberty did not coniift in de- 
termining onefelf according to the firfl" impref- 
fion a thing had made upon us, but that it is 
required to confider a matter properly, and not 
to chufe a thing before we are fufficiently ac- 
quainted with it. I fhewed him, how impoffible 
it was for man always to forefee and to regulate 
the confequences of his actions, on account of 
the infirmity and narrow bounds of our under- 
ftanding, and becaule we are io eafily blinded by 
our pafiions. 

As to this lsft reafon, the Count himfelf faid, 
" That palfiops would overpower us, even then, 
when we fee that the actions to which they ex- 
pite us can be detrimental to fociety. They would 
perfuade us, that the confequences they might 
be attended with are in our power ; that by pre- 
caution and acting fecretly, , we might avoid 


( 2 7 ) 
them. They would fupply us with various ex- ] 
cufes, and incline us to think them to be true." 
He did not take it amifs, when I applied this to 
his own life. 

I afterwards proved, that the will of God is. 
the only rule by which the morality of actions is 
to be determined-, not becaufe God had ordered 
that this action or another mould be ablblutely 
<?ood or bad, but becaufe his infinite underftan- 

o » 

ding found them really fo from all eternity, even 
without regard to men, created with liberty to 
trefpafs againfl his moral laws. 

The next point I thought neceffary to be 
proved was, that God had really revealed his will 
about the morality of actions. I would not 
draw my arguments from the Bible, fince I had 
not yet proved it to be a divine revelation, but 
rather from the dictates of confcience. 

This being done, as well as the nature of the 
propofition would admit of, I anfwered the ob- 
jections which the Count made. The firft was, 
" That though he had no inclination for railing 
any doubts, but mould rather endeavour to avoid 
them •, yet the fincerity wherewith our confer- 
ences were to be carried on, required him to 
tell plainly, what he was not convinced of. 
Therefore, he owned, that notwithstanding there 


( 28 ) 

was fuch moral fenfation in man, he neverthelefs 
was uncertain, whether it was born with him. 
Perhaps it might be a certain prejudice ?" 

If this was fo, replied I, how could it happen 
that this prejudice was an univerfal one, common 
both to the virtuous and the wicked ? 

" Perhaps then," faid he, « it is the effect of 
experience or cuftom, that we are ufed to con- 
fider the actions of others, as relating to our- 
felves." My anlwer was, that this moral fenfa- 
tion is found in man, before he is taught it by- 
experience and cuftom. 

" And fuppofe," faid the Count, " we mould 
find it a confequence of education ?" 

Neither can this be, replied I, for it is in a 
child prior to education. It is to be met with in 
a favage Greenlander and a Hottentot, who rea- 
fons on lome actions more foundly than nations, 
whofe moral fenlations are tainted by education, 
and by their way of living. 

" He now owned, that the notion of morality 
was born with us, and that it laid deep in our na* 
ture. That it took its origin from our Creator, 
and that we, by the dictates of this inward feel- 
ing, were informed of the will of God in regard 
to good or bad actions." 


( *9 ) 
From what he had faid, I now drew fome in- 
ferences, and told him, that in order to qualify 
himfelf for God's mercy, it was neceffary to 
fearch his former life, and to acknowledge his 
faults and crimes. I was afraid to leave this felf- 
examination entirely to himfelf; and therefore 
told him, that I mould review with him his life, 
tho' it was a difagreeable talk for both ; hoping 
he would afilft me therein with all fincerity. 
He promifed to confefs every thing, and giving 
me his hand, he faid, he would take me entirely 
for his guide. 

After fome filence on both fides, and amidft 
his tears, he looked at me with an air that 
betrayed both anxiety and confidence, and faid, 
" If my tears come only out of the right fource !'* 

Good Count, faid I, I fufpecl the reafon why 
you cry. It is certainly the misfortune which 
you have thrown your friends into. This is 
your tender fide, which pains, even when it is 
but flightly touched. Examine yourfelf, whe- 
ther it is but perfonal friendfhip, or the remem- 
brance of mutual enjoyed pleafures, or the for- 
row of having loft the hope of their continuation ? 
or, whether it is the confcioufnefs that you have 
offended God, religion and virtue, in the per- 
fons of your unfortunate friends. 


( 30 ) 
He confidered a while, and at laft called out 5 
6C Oh ! it is extremely difficult, to come to any 
certainty in this point!" 

Not long after, he added : " I fear it is now 
too late to beg for God's mercy ! and per- 
haps I do it in my prefent fituation out of ne- 


I told him upon this, that though he had rea- 
fon to reproach himfelf very much, that he had 
fpent his whole life without thinking of God, or 
endeavouring to make him his friend; yet there 
was no distinction betwixt thofe that came early 
and thofe that came late. It was only the fincerity 
with which we feek for God's mercy. 

He added, <e Perhaps I do it out of corri- 
plaifance to you." To which I replied, that I 
could fcarce believe this, becaufe he fhed fo 
many tears, and was fo forry and fo much con- 

After fome consideration, he faid : " Of what 
ufe would it be to me ? No, (here he took me by 
the hand,) it is not out of complaifance to you." 
He then faid: " I remember that in the instruction 
of chriftianity, which I received in my younger 
days, I was told, a chriftian ought to die with 
the utmoft chearfulnefs and confidence. But I 
am fo anxious about doubts. Tjiey return al- 
4 ways 

( 3i > 

ways again, notwithstanding I endeavour to re- 
move them, and will not let them gain ground." 

I fufpedted, and found afterwards but too 
jultly, that he was throwing out a hint about 
fome ftrange inward feelings, which fome chrifti- 
ans pretend to have, as indifputable fignsand con- 
fequences of their being pardoned before God. I 
therefore told him, that fuch inward feelings, if 
there ever were things of that kind, could not be 
looked upon as abfolutely neceffary, and as 
things which nuift inevitably follow. I knew 
many fincere chriftians that were without them *, 
and I myfelf, though confcious of being a chri- 
ftian, had never perceived them. 

He interrupted me, by faying : " I myfelf faw 
a pious man dying, who left this world in great 

I continued, Good Count, that eafe of mind 
which I wifh you, when you are dying, and 
which it is poflible you may attain, does not con- 
fid in a vifible joy ; it is rather a certain tran- 
quillity of the foul, which arifes. from a convic- 
tion, that we have fulfilled all thofe conditions 
which God has laid down as the only ones for 
our receiving his pardon. 

" How tottering," fa id he, " has been my 
former fyftem, and how lure was I, nevertheless-., 


( 32 ) 

©f its truth ! I was refolved, that if I ilionld die* 
I would adhere to my principles ; I would iup- 
pofe them to be indifpu table, and would let 
death approach without any further fcrutiny. 
And for this very reaibn, I had begged to be 
cxcufed from feeing any clergyman." 

You fee from this, good Count, replied I, 
what a difference there is between truth and er- 
ror. What you mentioned, were your fentiments 
about eight days ago. And now you read Jeru- 
falem's work with the greateft afliduity, though 
he contradicts your principles every where. 

" Oh !" faid he, " it is an incomparable book ; 
pray bring me the other volumes." How forry 
was I, that then only one volume was pub- 
limed. " Could you not," continued he, " give 
this book to be read by fome of my friends, who 
think of religion as I did, and were perhaps in- 
duced to it by my example and converfation ?" 
I promifed I would look out for fuch oppor- 

I now wanted to conduct him further into 
chriftianity, with whofe moral fide he was to be 
firft made acquainted ; for, as to the dogmati- 
cal part he knew already more of it, though he 
thought it impoflible to believe its myfteries. 
However, I was fure, that even here, he would 


( 33 ) 
become a believer, if he was firft convinced of the 
excellency of the morals Chrift has preached, and 
if the myfteries of chriftianity were laid before 
him, as Scripture propofes them, feparated from 
human explications. To make him converfant 
with the precepts of the Gofpel, I thought it bell 
to let him read the hiflory of Chrift. I told him, 
I wilhed that he might learn from the moral 
character of Chrift, that he was a good and divine 
man, and one that deferves great credit. Per- 
haps it may prepoffefs you in his favour, when I 
tell you, that even Voltaire, inclined as he is to 
calumniate Chrift, does juftice to his moral cha- 
racter. " Does he ?" replied the Count. I will 
read to you, continued I, fome paffages from the 
Evangile du jour, which no doubt is a work of 
Voltaire. I added, that Roufieau was quite 
charmed with Chrift's morals, and his death. He 
remembered to have found fomething of this 
kind in his Emile. I might recommend to you, 
continued I, the New Teftament, to read the 
hiftory of Chrift •, but I chufe to decline this at 
prefent, fince it is difperfed through all the four 
Evangelifts, and fince many places are wrongly 
tranflated, and many more, on account of their 
reference to the manners of the times and people, 
and the fituation of places, might be obfcure to 
you j and fince you yourfelf, probably, have 
D abufed 

C 34 ) 
abufed fome Scripture expreflions, to ridicule 
and to make ajeft of them. " Yes," faid he, "you 
are in the right." I promifed therefore, to bring 
to him the hiftory of the three latter years of 
the life of Chrift, as it is properly compiled, 
regulated, explained, and told in a modern flile. 

Cramer * had defired me to give his compli- 
ments to the Count, and to tell him, that Count 
Bernftorf had forgiven him, and that he, in the 
latter days of his life, was very much concerned 
about the falvation of his foul. He afked : 
" Has Bernftorf lived to hear of my being 
arretted ?" Yes, faid I, he died about a fortnight 
ago. He burft out into tears again, and defired 
me to tell Cramer, that he wifhed to be worthy 
of his memory, and that he was obliged to him 
for his intelligence. 

I left him to-day Gellert's Lectures on Mora- 
lity f. He had almoft finimed Reimarus's book. 
During my abfence, he always employed the 
greateft part of his time in reading thofe books 
which I had brought him. 

* This eminent divine is now living at Lübeck. He 
was formerly chaplain at the court of Copenhagen. 

f Thefe LeBures on Morality, read in the univerfity of 
Leipfic, by the late Mr. Geliert, were tranflated laft year into 
French. See the Appendix to the 47th volume of the 
Monthly Review, page 503. 

( f5 ) 

The fifth Conference. March the tenth, 

I FOUND the Count reading Gellert's Lec- 
tures on Morality, about whofe excellency 
he did not know how to exprefs himfelf properly. 
He faid : 

" Had I but a year ago read fuch books in 
retirement from diflipation, I mould have been 
quite another man. But I lived as in a dream. 
However, where are fuch chriftians as are here 

I told him that I believed Geliert himfelf to 
have been fuch a chriftian as is defcribed in the 
book, which was chiefly written, to fhew that 
perfection a chriftian was to ftrive for. I 
reminded him of our agreement, to examine 
more minutely his moral conduct, in order to 
convince him more of the greatnefs of his fins, 
and the neceffity of. his repentance. 

In a ferious exhortation, I begged of him to 
act now with all lincerity ; and the Count then 
began : 

" I know very well that I cannot apologize for 
my actions. But for this very realbn I with the 
exiftence of eternity, becaufe God, who knows 
exactly the complication of circumftances and 
the fituation I have been in, will determine more 
D 2 truly; 

( 3« ) 

truly and juftly the morality or immorality of 
my actions, than men ever can do." 

I now delineated the outlines of his character 
as I had reafon to think it to be. God, faid I, 
has given you not a common underftanding, 
and, as I believe, a good natural difpofition 
of heart ; but through voluptuoufnefs, ambi- 
tion and inconfideratenefs, you have corrupted 
yourfelf. He confirmed my conjectures, and 
added : 

" That voluptuoufnefs Jiad been his chief 
pafiion, which had contributed moll to his moral 

We will begin, faid I, with this pafiion, and 
fee to what fins it has led you. After defcrib- 
ing how far it was extravagant, the Count owned 
with great emotion of heart, 

" His opinion had always been, that he lived for 
no other purpofe but to procure himfelf agreeable 
fenfations. He had reduced every thing to this 
point, and if now and then he had done fomething 
good, he had never confidered it as an obligation 
of charity or of obedience towards God, but as 
a mere means to promote his own pleafure. In 
his very youth, he blindly had abandoned himfelf 
to all forts of extravagancies. When he found the 
confequences of his irregular life, he endeavoured 


( 37 ) 
to reftore his health again by regularity and con- 
tinence, in order to enjoy pleafure the longer. 
Having recovered health again, he indulged 
himfelf in irregularities of voluptuoufnefs under a 
mild government ofreafon, and refrained himfelf 
from abandoned extravagancies, What humiliated 
him mofl, was, that he could not accufe any body 
that had feduced him, but that he muft confefs 
to have been his own feducer, by reading certain 
books, which he mentioned." 

The more minute examination of his life in 
regard to this chief paflion of his, I regulated 
according to certain queftions. During the whole 
enquiry, he did not leave off crying. It feemed 
as if he felt a kind of eafe, by intrufting me with 
the anxiety of his heart which he felt on account 
of this fperies of tranfgreffion. I will write the 
queftions down in the manner I propofed them 
to him, and add thofe of his anfwers, which are 
more than a fimple confefllon, and can contri- 
bute to clear up his former way of thinking, and 
ferve to increafe the abhorrence of the vice of 

How much time has by your eager purfuit of 
pleafures been fquandered away, that might and 
(hould have been employed better? — He gave for 

D 3 "I always 

( 38 ) 
" I always impofed upon myfelf by thinking, 1 
becaufe I could work very quick, and could 
difpatch the bufinefs of my different ftations in 
life in lefs time than many others, that therefore 
the reft of my time ought to be dedicated to my 
pleafures, and was in a manner gained. But I 
fee now too late, how much it was my duty to be 
officious in promoting good, according to that 
meafure of talents God has trufted me with." 

How many good actions are left undone ? and 
how infatiable have you been in your luft ? How 
much have you meditated to procure yourfelf 
new fenfual enjoyments ? 

" To be overloaded with pleafures, is attended 
with an inevitable emptinefs, and to fill up the 
vacancies makes us lludy variety of pleafures." 

How much did you neglect by this the im- 
proving and forming of your foul and heart ? 
Remember the years you have fpent at fchool 
and the univerfity ! 

" It kept me very backward, and not till late 
years did I begin to make myfelf acquainted with 
thofe things which I (hould have learnt at fchool. 
Being at the univerfity, I lived now and then for 
whole months together in diffipation and extra- 
vagancies, but then I kept to my fludies for a 
time again. Improving and forming my heart, 

I never 

( 39 ) 
I never thought of before I was two or three and 
twenty years of age. Since that time I collected 
by degrees thofe principles of morality I informed 
you of." 

How neglectful has your lull made you to- 
wards God, yourfelf, and other men, even in 
thofe duties which your particular ftatton in life 
required of you ? 

" I turned my thoughts very little towards 
God, and did not believe that I owed him any 
thing more, than a general gratitude for my ex- 
iftence. I might perhaps have often neglected 
the particular duties of my refpective ftations in 
life, for the fake of enjoying pieafures, but at 
other times I have as phyfician taken great pains 
about my patients." 

Very likely you have, by the perpetual enjoy- 
ment of fenfual pieafures, heated your fancy, 
and filled it with foul images, which perhaps 
difturb you ftill, and hinder your ferious reflexi- 
ons. In what a giddinefs of lull have you lived, 
or rather not lived, but only dreamt ? 

" When I now recollect, I find that my life 
has been but a dream. I remember to have done 
but little good, by which I might know that 
I really have lived." 

D 4 How 

( 40 ) 

How much has your luft degraded your dig T 
nity zs a man, and ranked you among irrational 
creatures, whofe pleafures confift only in that 
which is fenfual ? 

" I thought myfelf no more than an animal, 
and believed there was no difference of fpecies, 
but only of fome degree of perfection between 
man and beaft." 

Has not your character fuffered very much by 
this ? 

" I always thought I need not to care what 
the world faid. I therefore endeavoured to pleafe 
but a few. But now I find how valuable a name 
is which is obtained by virtue." 

How indifferent has this made you towards 
moral pleafures, which are the mod effectual 
fprings to promote virtue, and are an erTential part 
of real happinefs ? 

" In my younger years I was quite indifferent 
towards goodfentiments and actions. Afterwards, 
though I was perhaps pleafed when I had done 
fomething which I thought to be good, yet I never 
made any diftinction between this nobler joy, 
and the gratification of my luftful defires." 

How many has your voluptuoufnefs ruined !— - 
Your example, and the propagating of your 


( 4i ) 

principles, has feduced young men to profligacy. 
Many of them have loft their characters, ruined 
their conftitution, and even met death in their 
purfuit of luilful pleafures. Perhaps deftitute wir 
dovvs and orphan children, whofe hufbands and 
fathers were killed by profligacy which you 
taught them, are now crying to the all-knowing 
God againft the author of their misfortunes ! 

£}e acknowledged, in a very repenting man- 
ner, he might be guilty of all thefe crimes. His 
expreflions, his countenance, and his whole atti- 
tude feemed to beg of me not to go on any fur- 
ther. I continued : 

Might you not have been the feducer of inno- 
cent young women, and might you not, on fuch 
occafions, have wilfully facrificed to your volup- 
tuoufnefs, religion, honour, and virtue? Might 
you not have ruined them in this world, by hin- 
dering their being married, and throwing them 
into contempt and poverty? 

" I cannot deny that I have been a dangerous 
feducer. I often have deceived innocence by 
my principles. Even women of good fenfe 
I have conquered ; and more than this, I have 
made them afterwards eafy again about their 
tranfgrefiions. None among thofe that I attacked 
was at laft able to refift me, if fhe did not avoid 


( 42 ) 

me prefently. I was never at a lofs how to con- 
quer ; though I mult fay, I never promifed any 
thing which I did not intend to perform. . Not- 
withftanding I did all that laid in my power to 
keep thole, who through my fault had been tem- 
porally ruined, from mifery and poverty, I am, 
neverthelefs, now convinced that this by no 
means can excufe me." 

Perhaps there are children that do not know 
you to be their father, who for want of education 
will become a burden to fociety, and are in dan- 
ger of being ruined in this and the future world. 

Here he defired me to take upon me the care 
and education of a child, two years old, becaufe 
it was his. 

I fcarcely had made enquiry, when I heard it 
was dead. L mention this as a proof of his fince- 
rity. I continued : 

And matrimonial ties, which according to the 
unanimous opinion of all nations ihould be fa- 
cred, I fuppofe you have broken. What an 
irreparable injury is hereby done to both parties ! 
—and how much mull this injustice have afflict- 
ed the injured party ? Remorfe of confeience on 
the fide of the feduced perfons was or will be the 
confequence thereof. Wherewith will .you excufe 
yourfelf, if grief or defpondency Ihould be hurt- 
4 fill 

( 43 ) 
ful to the health or the life of the injured ? Is not 
matrimonial happinefs and domeftic peace fre- 
quently difturbed by thefe your tranfgreflions ? 

«« The injured party, faid he, had often never 
known of it, and in fome inftances he had rather 
promoted domeftic peace by good advice, which 
he had given to the female criminal. He owned 
that he thought thefe excufes formerly fufficient, 
but he did not mention them now with the fame 

Perhaps, faid I, honeft fathers are obliged to 
maintain children, which they are convinced are 
not their own. Of what confufions, enmities, 
and law-fuits may this be productive, even after 
your death, in families that might have remained 
happy, if you had left them undifturbed ? Have 
you never ufed unnatural means to fatisfy your 
voluptuous pafiions, or to prevent their difegree- 
able and unexpected confequences ? He faid: 

" In his younger years he had indulged him- 
felf in every thing his paffion had driven him to, 
but as to the latter part of the queftion, he knew 
himfelf to be innocent." — And this was the only 
accufation of our to-day's fcrutiny, to which he 
pleaded not guilty. 

Now, continued I, what mifery have all thefe 
extravagancies thrown you into? Forget for a 


C 44 ) 
little while that you have offended God extremely, 
by creating fo much mifchief in the world. Re- 
flect rather on this queftion only, How has my 
luftful paffion rewarded me, after having ferved 
it fp faithfully ? You are rewarded with tranfitory, 
(difguftful joys, which never have fatisfied your 
defires ; with difiain, contempt, and reproaches 
of all fober people that knew of your wicked 
life ; with imprifonment and fetters, with a, 
premature and ignominious death.— — Pray 
now, confider ferioufly, fuppofe I and every 
bo !y were to live in this manner, what would 
become of human fociety? — He anfwered, 

" I foolifhly perfuaded myfelf, that it was 
confident with fociety. The great ones in Eng- 
land and France, faid I to myfelf, lead fuch un- 
reftrained life." 

But, faid I, does this unreftrained way of life 
of the great in England and France contribute 
towards the happinefs of either nation? And can it 
be believed that they, in doing fo, are more happy 
than people of the middle fort, that lead a life 
which is more ftricl: and more folid ? And laftly, 
are thefe great ones the whole fociety, or are they 
not the fmalleft part of it, and if numbers are to 
^e confidered, the moft inconfiderable part ? 


( 45 ) 
During the whole time of this converfation, 
the Count was very much moved, and ready to 
cry. I faw how affecting and humiliating the fcene 
of his paft life was to him. 

" How is it pofilble, faid he, that I could 
ever be fo convinced of my former principles, 
and could ever forget myfelf fo far !" 

I recommended to him to fearch the whole 
courie of his former life more minutely, and left 
him for this purpofe further written inftructions. 
I gave him likewife the two firft parts of the 
three laft years of the life of Chrift. The Count 
then faid : 

" That he valued the morals of chriftianity 
very much, and thought them truly divine ; but 
he was afraid the myfteries of religion might pre- 
vent his being fully perfuaded of its truth, though 
he promifed to ipare no pains to get convinced." 

Upon this I told him, that the grace of God 
would afliit his endeavours, and that his doubts 
would ceafe in time. He then flarted three ob- 
jections : the firft, why the immortality of the 
foul was not taught in the writings of Mofes ? 
the fecond, how Chrift could be the Son of God? 
and thirdly, how three perfons could be in one 
Deity ? To the firft I replied, that if it was agreed 


( 4$ ) 

that in the writings of Mofes no mention was made 
of the immortality of the foul, it did neverthe- 
lefs by no means follow, that this doctrine was 
unknown to the Jews, or that the truth of it was 
lefs certain. And as for his fecond and third ob- 
jections, I told him, that fince their refutation' is 
grounded upon right explanations of fcripturepaf- 
fages, for which he was not yet prepared, I could 
only tell him this beforehand, that the words 
wherein thefe myfleries are revealed, muft be 
cautiou fly explained, fincethey were more adapted 
to inform men of the exiftence of what is above 
their conception, than to exprefs fully the nature 
©f the myftery. 

Thefxth Conference. March the twelfth. 

Now conducted the Count to the fecond great 
fource of his tranfgrefllon, which, I thought, 
was his ambition. You had, faid I, too great 
an opinion of your underftanding, and of the 
goodnefs of your intentions, which at the bottom 
were but means to fatisfy your chief paflion. He 
replied : 

" He had been fo weak, as to let himfelf be 
perfuaded by a perfon that made too much of 
him, that his underftanding was fo great, that he 


( 47 ) 
could do every thing which was in the power of 
man. Helvetius, whom he had read much,, had 
likewife induced him to believe this. For he 
fays, that fince the organifation of every man 
was the fame, confequently every one was ca- 
pable of doing the fame thing another man could 
do. He had thought himfelf convinced of the 
goodnefs of his intentions, though he muft own 
he had purfued principles which ought to be re- 
jected, and that always the chief end he had in 
view was his pleafure." 

1 then put him in mind how many people he 
had made unhappy through his ambition •, how 
unjuft and hard he had been to fatisfy this paJTion ; 
how obftinately he oppofed thofe that underftood 
the affairs of ftate better than himfe'f, even then 
when he knew he was in the wrong. What dan- 
gerous and violent means he had ufed to keep 
himfelf in his dignity, and to what danger he had 
expofed the fubjects of the King, particularly the 
inhabitants of the metropolis. To this he re- 

" It was true, that he for his own fafety had 
made regulations which he had not thought to be 
dangerous, fince he knew instances wherein even 
the fight only of inch preparations had prevented 
and quelled dilturbances. But now, when he 


( 48 ) 

confidered matters more coolly, he faw very well 
that he might have been the author of great mif- 

I defired him to confider, whether he had not 
made too free with the revenues of the ftate ? — 
At how great an expence he had lived at laft ? 
T-What an unconftitutional power he had arro- 
gated to himfelf? &c. 

The two chief paflions of the Count, volup- 
tuoufnefs and ambition, being accompanied with 
great inconfideratenefs, I reminded him of his 
inconfiderate treatment of religion, and how he 
had made a jeft of the moft ferious things in the 
world, and ftudied perhaps to communicate his 
opinions to others. To which he gave for 
anfwer : 

<c He could not deny that religion had fre- 
quently been with him a fubje<5t of ridicule. But 
he had been guilty of this kind of inconfiderate- 
nefs, moftly in the company of fuch perfons as 
were already prejudiced againfl religion. He 
never had made it his bufinefs to make profe- 
lytes, though he had made no fecret of his irre- 
ligion. He acknowledged himfelf in all this 
culpable before God and his confcience." 

After feveral other queflions, I afked the Count 

how he could prefume to fit at the helm of 

3 government, 

( 49 ) 
government, when he knew himfelf by no means 
qualified for it, being without knowledge of the 
laws, and the language of the country, and never 
giving himfelf the trouble to learn either. I 
charged him with having given new laws incon- 
fiderately, abolifhing old ones without reafon«, 
I blamed him for having difcharged old and ap- 
proved of minifters of ftate, and chufing new 
ones, without knowing them, and tfufling in them 
without being fure of their being honeft men j 
only becaufe he thought they would prove them- 
felves to be his friends. 

When I told him, that he never had cared fof 
the morals of the nation, but rather promoted 
immorality by bad examples, by giving opportu- 
nities to do evil, and even by making laws tend- 
ing to promote it, he faid : 

" He always believed, that it belonged only 
to the clergy to mind the morals of the people. 
He judged of the lentiments of the nation by his 
own, and imagined that every one, like himfelf, 
looked upon pleafure and an unreftrained life as 
the only happinefs." 

When I reprefented to him, that during his 
administration there was, efpecially in the metro- 
polis, an entire flop to trade, he replied : 

E "He 

( So ) 
" He had been fenfible of that, and it was * 
no matter of indifference to him, for he had 
been thinking how to open new ways to promote 

When I afked him how it was poflible for him 
to fee the univerfal difcontent, and to be fenfible 
of it, to be cautioned by friends and foes, and 
neverthelefs to neglect all this, he anfwered : 

" He had always made himfelf eafy, by the 
hopes that this difcontent would ceafe at laft, and 
that the meafures he had taken would keep him 

Though all thefe reproaches were levere and 
very humiliating, the Count feemed, neverthe- 
lefs, not to be offended by them. Now and then 
he would fay fome things in his excufe, which 
were nothing to me, becauie they did not relate to 
what I had in view, and which I was not a judge 
of. However, he was upon the whole full of 
repentance, though he thought he could apolo- 
gize for fome particular parts of his political 

" He expreffed his anxiety, that he thought 
his repentance was not ferious enough, or at leaft 
that he was more lorry on account of fome tran£ 
greflions than others.'* 

I anfwered, 

( 5i ) 

1 ahfwered, this fear of his was a good fig.% 
and a proof of the fincerity of his repentance. 
I reminded him of God's mercy towards him, 
fince in his prifon he had time and opportunity 
to confider his former actions, and to repent of 
his crimes. I afked what might have become 
of him, if an afTaffination had taken place, which 
he was fo often threatened with, and which fo 
eafily could have been put into execution ? 

Since the laft conference, the Count had read 
the two firft parts of the hiftory of Chrift, and I 
enquiring how he liked the man ? he faid : 

" His morals and his perfonal conduct are 
excellent. The firft are undoubtedly the bed ad- 
vice for men to make themfelves happy in all 
fituations of life. Here and there I found fome- 
thing which I did not underftand, and which per- 
haps is to be explained from the manners and con- 
dition of thofe times. But I have met with many 
things that have affected me much. It has humi- 
liated me to find here many good things, which 
I had learned in my youth from Scripture, and 
which I afterwards believed I owed to the read- 
ing of other books." 

When I enquired of him, if it was likely that 

a man whole life and morals were fo excellent, 

and who acted fo diiintereftedly (" and, as he 

E 2 added 

( 52 ) 

added himfelf, who facrificed his life to con- 
firm the truth of what he preached") was capable 
of impofing upon the world by falfe miracles, 
he anfwered : 

" No ! it is quite improbable." 

I then told him that there are two ways to get 
convinced of the truth of the chriftian religion. 
The firft and the more fure one, was a conftant 
practice of Chrifl's precepts. By this a man 
may be convinced by his own experience of the 
excellency of his religion. The other was, 
a candid examination whether Chrift had proved 
himfelf to be a true meffenger of God, by deli- 
vering a doctrine which was worthy of God, and 
by performing undoubted miracles. As to the 
doctrine, he had owned already that it was really 
divine-, and if the greateft of his miracles, his re- 
furrection, could be proved, it followed in courfe, 
that the reft of his miracles were true, or at leaft 
could be fo. 1 told him it was neceflary for him 
to examine the evidences in behalf of this mira- 
cle himfelf; and for this purpofe I mould give 
him a book which was written by a deift, who 
was induced to turn chriftian after examining the 
refurrection of Chrift. 

The Count feemed to be greatly pleafed by 
this i and I left him with fanguine hopes, after 

I had 

( 53 ) 

I had given him the third and fourth parts of the 
Life of Chrift. 


Thefeventb Conference. March the fourteenth, 

i Eneral Lieutenant Holben, the commander 
of the caftle where the Count was prifoner, 
told me, that fince my laft vifit he had been very 
uneafy : That* he frequently on a fudden ftarted 
from the couch upon which he ufed to lie during 
the whole time of his imprifonment : That he 
had been fitting for half an hour together, hang- 
ing down his head, buried in deep thoughts, and 
fobbing had fhed a great many tears. When I 
entered the prifon, I found him reading Geliert, 
and reading indeed I always found him whenever 
I came. 

" I muft be quite deprived of all my reafon, 
faid he, if I did not own, that I ihould have 
lived as this book teaches me. Oh ! had I but ' 
read fuch books in the days of my profperity, I 
am fure they would have convinced and reformed 

His countenance expreffed great concern, 
{"hame and uneafinefs. And when I afked him 
how he did, he replied : 

" I am very uneafy fince yefterday. I cannot 

ferioufly enough repent of having led fo bad a life, 

E 3 and 


( 54 ) 
and having a<5led upon fuch wicked principles, 
and ufed means fo detrimental. My prefent 
condition, and even my death do not concern me 
fo much as my bafe actions ! And it is quite im- 
poflible to make any reparation for what I have 
done to the world. — Pray, my dear friend, do not 
be tired, and do not leave me." 

Though I had the greatefl compaflion towards 
him, yet I thought I had not reafon enough at 
prefent to make him quite compofed. But when 
he feemed to be afraid his repentance might be 
too late, I comforted him in this refpect, and 
promifed to iliew myfelf his friend to the very 
]aft. My intention by this vifit was to give him 
opportunities to recollect his former life, and to 
point out to him the way for a ferious repentance-, 
but the uneafinefs I found him in, would not al- 
low me to act fo feripuOy as I intended. Among 
other fubjects which we were talking upon, was 
the pain and grief which he had caufed to his 
honefl parents from his earlier days, and now in 
particular towards the latter end of his life. I 
entreated him to confider how often he had 
offended them by his difobedience and obftinacy, 
and made them grieve about his open contempt 
of all religion. — What anxiety, continued I, muft 
you have caufed to thefe venerable perfons, by 
fhofe incpnfiderate Heps you have taken during 
2 your 

( 55 ) 

your refidence in this metropolis ! — Every news 
of the too hafty increafe of their fon's profperity, 
of the means he got at it, and the ufe he made of 
his power, muft have ftruck a kind of deadly 
terror into them ! — They muft have trembled 
every day on account of the danger which 
threatened their fon ; and into what an imfpeak- 
able grief muft your fudden fall have thrown 
them ! — How dreadful muft their expectation be 
on account of the ifiue of your affairs, and the 
danger your foul is in! — How humiliating to 
them will be the manner of your death ! Will 
they ever be comforted, and might it not (horten 
their lives ? And who is the author of all this ? are 
not you, their fon ! 

I had had, for feveral days, a letter of, 
the father * of the unfortunate Count in my 
pocket, and I thought this moment the propereft 
to deliver it. The whole letter is as follows : 

" I could 

* The accounts which are given in news papers r.nd ma- 
gazines of the father of Count Struenfe^ being io imperfett, 
and full ot raifreprefentafionf, the tranflator, who is perso- 
nally acquainted with him, will give here a fhort (ketch of 
his life. D. Adam Struenfee, the father of the Count, was 
born in the year 1708, at New Ruppin, a fmall town, in 
the dominions of the King of Prufiia. He was foon fent to the 
grammar fchool at Brandenburg, where he was till the year 
1727, when he went to the university at Halle, which he ex- 
changed the following year for that of Jena. In the year 1750 
the Count of Witgenilein made him one of his chaplains at 
Berleburg. He was but one year in this üation before he 
E 4 was 

C 56 ) 
u I could wifh that thefe lines, if pofiible, may 
teach you, that you may read and confider. The 
me ancholy, grief, and anxiety of your parents, 


was chofen re£lor of a parifh in the fuburbs of Halle, in 
Saxony. He quitted this living but a few months after for 
another rectory in the city of Halle, which he likewife gave 
up foon after, another living in the fame city being offered 
to him, and of which he accepted. He then was made pro- 
feflbr in divinity of the Univerfity, in which capacity of 
profeffor and re&or he got a great name, and became very 
eminent, and much beloved. In the year 1757, the late King 
of Denmark gave him the principal rettory at Altona, and 
appointed him prefident of the ecclefiaftical confiftory of 
Altona and the county of Pinneberg» His talents and merits 
promoted him in the year 1760 to one of the mofl eminent 
preferments in the Lutheran church, for he became preiident 
of the ecclefiaftical council, general-fuperintendant (or 
bilhop) of the two dukedoms Schlefwlg and Holftein, to 
which are annexed the deanries of Gottorp, Rendfburg, 
Hufum, and Schwabfted. He now, at this very time, en- 
joys all thefe preferments, and his fixed refidence is at Rendf- 
burg, a fortified town in Holftein, where the tranflator 
vifited him in the year 1766. He is a very perfonable, tall 
man, has a ferious countenance, is a good pulpit orator, 
whofe difcourfes are more calculated for edification than for 
ihining eloquence. He has the promoting of practical reli- 
gion particularly in view. Many are his writings and publi- 
cations, which are moftly calculated for the fame purpofe. 
He married, in the year r/32, Mary Charles, only daughter 
of John Charles, then phyfician in ordinary to the Count of 
Witgenftein, a lady of fingular merit, virtue and piety. It is 
faid, that the fate of her ions affected her fo much, that fhe 
lately died of grief. She was mother of eight children. 

i.Elifabeth, born 1733, and married to a clergyman at 

2. Charles, born 1735. He was profeffor of ma- 
thematics at Lignitz, in Silefia. His brother, the Count, 
called him in 1771 into Denmark, and made him counfellor 
ofjuftice. He was made prifoner of ilate with his brother, 
but afterwards fet at liberty again. He has publifhed a 
well written treatife on fortification,. 

3- J oh * 

( 57 ) 

on account of their fons *, I am not able to 
exprefs. Our eyes fwim in tears, day and night. 
Our fouls cry for mercy to God without ceafing. 
But I will fpeak no more of this. There is but 
one thing which lies heavy upon my mind, and 


3. John Frederick, the unhappy Count, whofe name will 
be recorded in the annals of Denmark, was born the fifth 
ofAuguft, 1737, at Halle. He was educated in the fchools 
of the famous orphan houfeof D. Franke, and in the univer- 
fity at Halle, where he ftudied phyfic. He went with his 
father to Altona, where he foon became royal phyfician of 
the counties of Ranzau and Pinneberg, and procured himfelf 
by his profeflion and induftry a moderate independency. In 
the year 1768, the fifth of April, the King of Denmark 
appointed him to be his phyfician in ordinary, who was to 
attend him during his travels through Germany, England and 
France. This laid the foundation of his following profperity. 
He got intimately acquainted with the young monarch, was 
always about him, and infinuated himfelf into his particular 
favour. He was made Lefteur Royal, and in 1769, the 12th of 
May, adual counfellor of ftate. In 1770, the 19th of May, 
he was appointed counfellor of conference, and Maiire di 
requetes ; and in July, 1771, he became prime minifter. 
The fame month he was raifed to the dignity of a Danifh 
Count, and the Queen inverted him with the order of Ma- 
tilda. In 1772, the 17th of January, he became prifoner of 
ftate, and loft his life the 28th of April. 

4. Samuel Adam, born 1739, lives with his father. 

5. Mary, born 1744, is married to a clergyman at 
Shlefwig . 

6. Harriet, born 1745, died very young. 

7. Chriftian, born 1746. 

8. Gothilf, born 1752. He ftudied at Gottingen, but 
the Count, his brother, called him from thence, and made 
him lieutenant in the King's guards. He was likewife ar- 
retted, but fet at liberty again under condition of quitting the 
Danifh dominions. 

* It muft be remembered, that two brothers of the 
Count were likewife arretted with him. 

( 58 ) 
that of your much afflicted mother. You know 
our fentiments. You know our intention when 
we educated you. You remember how often 
and how ferioufly we inculcated this great truth, 
that godlinefs is profitable unto all things. 

As often as I had occafion to fpeak to 
you, even then, when you were in a public 
: character, I reminded you of the omni- 
prefent God, and exhorted you to be careful in 
preferving a good confeience. Your own heart 
will tell you, how far you have lived up to the 
exhortations of your father. 

It is already a long while that your parents 
have been in great anxiety about you. Since we 
lead a retired life, and have very few acquain- 
tance, and you yourfelf have written nothing 
about your circumftances, the prayers and fighs 
of our ftraitened hearts have afcended to God in 
fecret, and in our anxiety we cried, that your foul 
might not be loft. Three different time?, at 
Halle, Gedern, Altona, you were looked upon as 
a dead man, by thofe that flood about your fick 
bed. God has faved you and preferved your 
life : Certainly with that only intent, to prepare 
you in this time of grace for an happy eternity. 
The fame is now the chief intention of your 
gracious Redeemer, in your prifon. You are 


( 59 ) 
bis creature, he loves yon, you are redeemed by 
the blood of Jefus. God is a reconciled father. 
You are baptized in the name of the Trinity. 
He will make an everlafling covenant with you, 
and he will not defift from doing good to you. 
Return to your God, my fon, he will not hide 
his face of grace from you. Mind the voice of 
your confeience, and the conviction which the 
Spirit of God produces in your foul. Pray to 
God that he may difclofe to you the true inward 
ftate of your foul, that you, enlightened by God, 
may fee how much you are corrupted. Employ 
the folitude you are in now, to fearch your whole 
life in the fight of the all knowing God, that you 
may fee how great and how deteftable your fins 
are. Do not flatter yourfelf. Be rigorous with your- 
feif. Accufe yourfelf and judge yourfelf before 
the tribunal of God, whilft you are ftiil enjoying 
this time of grace. 

When you fhall feel your fins to be a heavy 
burden, your heart then will humiliate itfelf 
before God, you will pray for mercy, and you 
will ferioufly deteft and abhor your tranfgrefllons. 
You then will fee the great importance and 
necc ffity of the redemption of Chrift. You then 
will take refuge in him who receives finners, who 
was made to be fin for us, who has paid the debts 
pf our firjs ? and fuffered their punifhment, that 


C 60 ) 
we might be made the righteoufnefs of God in 
him, and might have redemption through his 
blood, the forgivenefs of fins, according to the 
riches of his grace. Still the blood of Chrift 
fpeaks for you. He that is merciful, ftill 
ftretches forth his hands. Without Jefus there 
is no falvation. He is the caufe of it. Even 
for your fake he has received gifts. You may 
have in him righteoufnefs for your peace of mind 
and for your fan&ification. O that Jefus might 
be glorified in your heart. In him we have 
happinefs whilft we live, whilft we fuffer, whilft 
we die, and after death. 

Your mother gives her love to you. She 
weeps, — fhe prays with me, for our unfortunate 
fons. My fon, my fon, how deeply do you afflict 
us ! Oh ! could we but have this only comfort, 
that our fons turned with all their heart unto the 
Lord, and that we with joy might find them 
again in eternity before the throne of the Lamb ! 

Your crimes, which brought you into prifon, 
are not properly and fufficiently known to us. 
What is talked of and read in public about you, 
is of fuch a nature that your parents condemn 
and deteft it. Oh ! I wifh to God, you had 
remained a phyfician. Of your rife to honours we 
were informed by the news papers ; but it was 


( 6i ) 
no matter of joy to us -, we read it with grief. 
Oh ! that you had kept, in all your tranfactions, 
a clear confcience with much wifdom, piety, and 
humility, for the good of Denmark, and that 
you might have fubmitted with all due fub- 
jection, to all the commands of your Sovereign. 
We cannot altogether judge about this matter 
for want of information. But know, that tho s 
we love our children, we neverthelefs do not 
approve of their crimes, nor will we excufe or 
palliate them, or call them good ; we rather hate 
all fins, deteft, condemn, and abhor them, and 
praife God when he manifefts his juft wrath over 
the wicked, and mews his mercy to the repenting 
and the faithful. The Lord our God be your 
phyfician in your imprifonment, and cure 
thoroughly the wounds of your foul. 

We your parents recommend you to the love 
of the Lord that has mercy on you. May Jeius, 
who is a compaffionate High-prieft, remember 
you for good at the right hand of God, that you 
may receive mercy before the throne of grace, 
and be pardoned unto everlafting falvation. Yea, 
Jefus ! thou great friend of mankind, who wilt in 
no wife caft out him that comes to thee, help 
parents and children to life everlafting !'* ■ 

Rtndfl>urg % March the 4th, 1 77 2« 

C 62 ) 

When I told che Count that I had a letter frcrri 
his father to him, he took it with a kind of 
eagernefs, anc4 began to read. But he had not 
half fin i(hed it, when he laid it down, weep- 
ing bitterly. Looking; then at me with an air of 
confidence, he faid, " It is impoflible for me to 
read any further 5 I will begin again by and by.'* 

My anfwer was, Read it by yourfelf, and 
read , it often. It is a letter cf an honeft, 
afflicted, and tender parent. Endeavour to com- 
fort your virtuous father and your pious mother* 
by a chriftian-Iike anfwer. You know very well 
what alone can comfort them. 

" Oh ! my God," faid he* in a manner which 
cannot be exprefTed, " I cannot write to them, I 
do not know how I mail act !" 

You will have time, replied I, to confider 
about this. — He afterwards praifed his father for 
being an honeft man, whofe actions agreed with 
his fentiments, and his mother for being a 
matron, that deferved reverence and was really 
pious. He faid, fne had given him the beft 
opportunity to learn by her own example, practi- 
cal chriitianity. He begged of me, " To write 
foon to his parents, to tell them the whole truth 
how I found him, and to allure them that h£ 
would do his beft, and had the beft intention, ta 


( 6 3 7 
die like a chriftian." — He was fo <nuch afFe&ed, 
that he was icarcely able to pronounce theie 

I had now given him opportunities enough for 
felf-examination. His repentance was really 
fincere, and I could truft in it fo much the more, 
as he was a man of cool blood, and one 
who, through principles and practice, had ob- 
tained great power over his paffions, and who 
certainly could not have been moved by any 
thing eile, but by ferious remonftrances of his 
confcience. I reminded him of that hope, which 
he formerly had entertained, that God would 
fhew him mercy on account of his philofophical 
repentance. I de fired him to tell me whether 
he thought this ftill to be true ? He hardly 
knew what to anfwer, but at lad, he faid : " I 
feel it too much, that I have no grounds for fuch 
a hope. I am no more inclined to deceive myfelf." 

I now wanted to make him acquainted with 
the proofs of chriftianity ; for which purpofe, I 
had brought him Weft's Obfervations on the 
Hiftory and Refurre&ion of Jefus Chi id. I 
defired him to read with attention. And if he 
fliould find, that there was the greateft credibility 
in the hiftory of the refurreclion of Chriit, he then 
fliould afk his reafon, whether he had no obli- 

C 6 4 ) 
gation to beiieve him, that was rifen, to be a 
meßenger of God to men, and his doctrine to 
be true and divine? 

The eighth Conference. March the 16 th, 

T\/rY flrft queftion was: Is it probable that 
-*- VJ - fins mould be punifhed in a future world 
which were committed wilfully, which were 
often repeated, and which were terrible on ac- 
count of their confequences ? 

He anfwered, " That if one looked upon it 
with mere reafon, it mould feem probable that 
the uneafinefs of confcience and the natural 
confequences of fins, were fufficient for their 

Many reafons being produced on my fide^ 
and among the reft, that many went out of this 
world without any remorfe of confcience at all •, 
the Count gave his objection up. And when I, 
at the conclufion of thofe arguments which are 
in favour of rewards and punifhments, propofed 
the queftion: Why even a fmner who difap- 
proves of all religion, is at leaft then afraid, 
when he fees certain death before his eyes ? 

The Count faid : " It might perhaps be 
nothing elfe but that natural fear of death which 


t 6 5 ) 

is common to all." But he found afterwards 
this objection removed by his own experience ; 
for he owned he was now lefs afraid on account of 
his death than of his fins. However, he believed 
he (hould have died with very little fear, even if 
we had not got acquainted, and he had not read 
thofe books I brought him. 

When I endeavoured to prove that mere re- 
pentance is not fufficient to fatisfy divine juftice 
reflecting our crimes, and afked what he would 
think of a judge who mould pardon every crimi- 
nal when he fhewed figns of a ferious repentance ; 
he anfwered, " he fhould think him to be a 
good man though a weak one, who was neither 
juft nor wife, and unfit to be a judge." 

Upon this, I undertook to convince him that 
mere repentance, or reparation of damages, or 
reformation of life, were infufficient to expiate 
our fins before God : I concluded, that thefe 
three mentioned means, which reafon recom- 
mends for obtaining pardon* are infufficient. 

I afterwards told the Count, that though he 
could not repair the damages he had done, 
becaufe he was fo near eternity, he neverthelefs 
could flill do fomething which refembled, in 
fome refpect, a reparation ; and this was, that 
he mould endeavour to efface thofe bad impref- 
F fions 

( « ) 

fions he had made upon the minds of the people, 
by fhewing himfelf now quite a different man in 
his converfation and his whole behaviour. The 
Count allured me, " that he himfelf already- 
had thought this to be his duty. He had fpoken 
to an officer about the moral doctrines of chrif- 
tianity, and exhorted him to obey them ftrictly. 
But he had not fpoken like a fully- convinced chrif- 
tian, for he was none yet, and he thought he 
had no right to play the hypocrite." He added, 
" that he heartily wifhed he could only con- 
tribute fomething towards the reformation of 
thcfe of his friends, whofe morals and fentiments 
he had corrupted by his example and by his 

When I had proved that faith in Chrift was 
the only way for reconciliation, I enquired of 
him how he had found the evidences of Chriil's 

" You know," anfwered the Count, " that 
for fome days pafl my mind has been very un- 
eafy and my body fick. I confefs both have 
hindered me from reading that part of the book 
with fufficient attention, which examines and 
compares the circumfta rices of the refurre&ion of 
Chrift. However I have found in the latter part 
the following argument?, which have made a 


( 6 7 ) 

great impreftion upon my underftanding. The 
difciples of Chrift were not credulous, but were 
with difficulty convinced of the refurrection of 
Chrift by the unanimous teflimony of all their 
fenfes. The Jews never examined the affair 
judicially, though they had the belt opportunity 
for it, and it was their intereft to fhew it was 
fictitious. I likewife look upon the propagation 
of chriftianity as another argument of the truth 
of Chrift's refurreclion -, for if it had not been 
certain that Chrift had rifen, chriftianity could 
not have fpread fo quick and fo far as it has 
done. The doctrine of Muhamed is in regard 
to its propagation not to be compared with 
chriftianity. However, I could wifh to know* 
whether any teftimonies for Chrift's refurreclion 
are to be met with in heathen authors/' 

I told him, that Suetonius, Tacitus, Plinius, 
and Jofephus made mention of Chrift, though 
there was a difpute about the paffage of the 
latter being genuine. 

" I cannot deny," faid the Count, " that 
Chrift's refurreclion feems to be probable ; but 
it appears to me a little odd, that he, after his re- 
furreclion, did not fhevv himfelf to his enemies,'* 

This objection I endeavoured to remove, by 

fhewing that fuch a teftimony would have been 

F 2 of 

( 68 ) 

of no ufe, and would never have convinced the 
Jews, on account of their obftinacy. 

The Count being exhorted to pray, he afiured 
me that he already frequently prayed. And when 
he repeated his complaint that his repentance on 
account of fome actions, and in relation to fome 
perfons, was greater than on account of others, 
I told hiiVi, that this was very natural ; that he 
always would find himfelf more concerned on 
account of the misfortunes he had brought upon 
his friends, his parents, his brothers, and Count 

After fome filence, he faid : " I do not know 
whether error and pafiion might not carry me 
away a fecond time, in cafe I fhould enter the 
world again. But fuch as I find myfelf now, I 
deteft my extravagancies, even thofe which 
gave me pleafure ; and I believe that in cafe I 
had an opportunity of indulging myfelf again, 
I mould not commit them." 

When I exhorted him not to commit any- 
wrong action which he was in his prefent circum- 
fiance capable of doing, and defired him to be 
upon his guard againft telling any untruth before 
his judges, or apologizing for himfelf when he had 
no ground for it, or concealing what was true 3 

he anfwered : 

<c I know 

( 6 9 ) 

" I know that by a fincere confeiTion, I gain 
in the opinion of honeft men. I am convinced 
that all my future happinefs, which I now hope 
to obtain, would be loft if I fhould attempt to 
conceal the truth. I even believe, according to 
the morals of Chrift, that a lie, though told with a 
good intent of promoting chriftianity and virtue, 
would be culpable. You therefore may depend 
upon my telling without rcferve every thing I 
fhall think myfelf guilty of." 

When I took my leave of him, he faid : " I 
lee how much you are concerned about my fal- 
vation ; that you love me, and as a fincere 
friend want to promote my real good. I look 
upon you as my only true friend in the world. 
"When mall I fee you again ? I am longing for 
you when you are not here ?" — I replied, 

The day after to-morrow you will certainly 
fee me again ; but the nearer the time draws that 
mail decide your fate, the more frequently I fliall 
vifit you, and ftay longer with you. 

He fmiled and faid : " I hope you will not 
fall fick." 

I gave him to-day Bonnet's philofophical Ex- 
amination of the Arguments of Chriflianity. 

The ninth Conference. March the eighteenth, 

T NO W recommended Scripture to the'Count. 
■** The New Teftament, faid I, gives the mod 
perfect information, and the Old Teilament 
agrees with the New, particularly in that chief 
point of man's redemption. I pointed out and 
explained feveral paMages of the prophets which 
correfpond with the evangelifls, and drew the 
inference, that even this mud prepoffefs us 
greatly in favour of the truth of the Gofpcl 
hiftory. The Count replied : 

cc If one had a mind to entertain fufpicion, 
one might fav Chrift had formed himfelf after 
f:he character of the Meflias, as it was drawn by 
the prophets, to act the part of this great per- 

I anfvvered : If he had had a mind for doing 
this, he would have acted his part conientaneous 
with the prejudices of the Jews, and appeared 
in the character of a worldly hero. 

" To be fure, (was his anfwer) he then would 
have employed quite different means. It is im- 
pofnble for an impoflor to act thoroughly the 
part of an honed: man. Bolides, there are pro- 
phecies, which, in regard of their being fulfilled, 


( 7i ) 
did not depend entirely upon Chrifl. For 
inftance : the cafting lots over his garments, and 
his beingj crucified. One as well as the other de- 
pended on accidental circumftanccs. If the 
Romans had not been at that time mailers of 
Jerufalem, he might not have been crucified, 
but rather been ftcned to death." 

We examined hereupon thofe Scripture paf- 
fages which treat on the redemption of men by 
Chrid. I endeavoured to prove that this re- 
demption, as it is taught in Scripture, does not 
contradict any of God's attributes, but is in all 
refpects adapted and fuitable to the condition of 
men. — This being done, after it had taken up 
much of our time, I entreated the Count mod 
earneftly to get convinced of this chief doctrine 
of chriftianity, that th?re is no falvation without 
Chrifl:, and to adopt it for his own everlafting 
welfare. He faid, " he fhould raife no difficul- 
ties, but mould do as much as he could to get 

7 CD 

convinced of a doctrine which mud be of fo 
great importance to him. He had no other 
hopes but from this quarter only, and why 
fhould he therefore not be delirous of partaking 

I found him at once greatly moved again. 

"He complained with tears in his eyes — M that 

F 4 his 

( 72 ) 

his old idea of a total annihilation of our whole 
exigence after death, would return now and then 
and make him uneafy." 

I told him it was very difficult to eradicate old 
ideas we were formerly fo much pleafed with : 
But I hoped he would always get the better of 
them, if he kept thofe arguments in view 
which he had found convincing in thofe books 
he had read upon this fubjeCl. 

He then afked me : " If I never had enter- 
tained any doubts about eternity ?" No ! was 
my anfwer ; I always found it fuitable to my 
wiuhes. I got early acquainted with its proofs. 

Upon the Count's complaining that he ftill 
was afraid his repentance might not be fincere 
enough •, I advifed him to do juft fuch actions as 
were oppofite to his former vices, and to mind 
every opportunity which was left for him of 
doing good. I laid I would propofe fomething 
to him. The prcpofal was, that fince he was 
very forry for having many of his former friends 
prepoffeiTed againft religion by communicating 
to them his principles, he fhould renounce thefe 
principles publickly. He fhould give an ac- 
count to the world of the fentiments in which 
he intended to die, and of the manner they 

took place. 

3 " This 

( 73 ) 
" This is what I {hall do," replied he ; « I 
will confider in what manner I could draw this 
up to make it moft ufeful." — Laftly he wifhed, 
5' that he might have a lively fenfation of the 
comfort of religion :" He faid, *« he prayed 
heartily to God for it." I told him, God would 
grant him his wifnes, and it would follow in courfe 
the more he got convinced of the truth of the 
chriftian religion, and of the fincerity of the 
alteration in his fentiments. 

He anfwered : " I hope to get convinced. I 
formerly thought that whoever embraced chrifti- 
anity was to renounce all reafon ; but I now fee 
plainly, that nothing ftands more to reafon than 
chrifbianity •, and I promife yon, that I will 
do my utrnoft to mak$- my fentiments conform- 
able to the will of God." 

I then continued : Your mind will grow eafy, 
and you will feel the comforts of the Gofpel. 
But, neverthelefs, you may feel anxiety and fear 
towards the latter end of your life, and upon the 
way to the fcaffold. I tell you this before-hand, 
left you may think religion could not comfort 
us when we are to die. Natural fear of death, 
the terrifying circumstances your's will be at- 
tended with, and your being confcious.that you 
by your crimes brought yourfelf to it, will not 


( 74 ) 
be altogether removed. But by the afliftance of 
religion, you will have a calm and hopeful 
profpect into eternity. 

He had now fmimed Bonnet's book which I 
had left with him, and declared it had given him 
great fatisfaction. And ftnce Roufieau had been 
his favorite author, and I feared his objections 
againfl Chnft's miracles might appear to him of 
confequence, I gave him Claperede on the -miracles 
of the Go/pel, to let him fee how weak Roufleau's 
objections are againit facts. 

The tenth Conference. March the twentieth. 

Y intention by this conference was to con- 
vince the Count that reafon could make 
no objections of any confequence againit the 
doctrine of the redemption of the world by 

" I myfelf," faid the Count, " have been 
thinking already on this fubject. Perhaps God 
will try our intentions towards his precepts, by 
demanding our faith in favour of this doctrine 
of redemption. And if this ihould be the cafe, 
it is a fufficient reafon for us to believe it." 

Hereupon I proved that the doctrine of re- 
demption glorifies the divine perfections, and is 


( 75 ) 
abfolutely neceiTary to human happinefs. At 
the conclufion of my arguments I entreated the 
Count to profefs himielf a chriftian by believing 
in Chrift. Ceafe, laid I, good Count, to be an 
unhappy man. Believe in Jefus, and your fins 
will be forgiven you. Your death will open 
you the door into a bfeffeä eternity. 

Here enfued a fcene which was moving to me 
beyond description, Never felt I fuch joy. 
Never have I been fo fure of the happinefs of 
having brought back a finner from his errors ! I 
ihall never forget this folemn and joyful hour, 
and never ceafe to praife God for it. 

" I mould be guilty of the greatefl folly," 
faid the Count, " if I would not embrace 
chriftianity with joy, when its arguments are fo 
over-balancing, and when it breathes fuch gene- 
ral benevolence. Its effects upon my heart are too 
fcrong. Oftentimes I cannot help crying when 
I read the hiftory of Chrift. I chink already 
with hope on my death. I have acquainted myfelf 
with its moll terrifying circumftances. I do not 
know how I fhall be when the awful hour comes. 
At prefent 1 am not uneafy about it ; I find 
nothing that makes me anxioufly wilh for this 
life. I will confidently expect forgivenefs of my 
fins through Chrift. And to you, my dear 
2 friend, 

( 76 ) 
friend, I am infinitely obliged that you have 
brought me fo far." 

I embraced him, and exhorted him to thank 
God for it. We prayed together. — 

I would now have left him, but he begged 
qf me to flay half an hour longer, which I did. 

He complained that his former idea, that 
there perhaps was no eternity, now and then 
returned to him ; (and in fact it did not leave 
him entirely until a few days before his death.) 
"He faid, with a kind of indignation and grief : 
*< Sometimes I think again -, fuppofe my former 
idea was true, that we have no exiftence after 
death ? But I comfort myfelf by thinking, that 
I abhor this idea ; and that I am fenfible it would 
be a very unhappy prefpect if all my wifhes 
and expectations of futurity mould be vain. I 
tremble when this melancholy thought difturbs 
me, and I arm myfelf againft it by recollecting 
the various convincing proofs which are alledged 
in favour of chriftianity as well as of a future 
Hate. I am now fully determined to follow the 
fame rule in my new principles which I had laid 
down in regard to my former ones. For my in- 
tention was, to think on the approach of death 
in the following manner : I have examined my 
idea that every thing ceafes with this life, and 

I have 

( 77 ) 
I have found it to be true. Therefore, if I 
fhould die, nothing fhall make me think other- 
wife } and I will die with a confidence, that, in 
cafe I fhould be wrong, God is a benevolent 
beino- who will forgive my error. But I fee now 
that my former notions of God's mercy are un- 
worthy of the Supreme Being. I have now ex- 
amined chrirtianity with greater exactnefs than I 
ever did my old fyftem, and by this examination 
I am convinced of its truth. I therefore will 
remain firm. Neither my old fyftem, nor new 
doubts, fhall henceforth ftagger me." 

He then, after fome queftions about the in* 
fpired writers, told me, that he now was fre- 
quently reading the Bible fince I had given him 
one. He faid, " he mould like to know what 
reafons there were to believe the facred books 
were really written by thofe authors to whom 
they are afcribed." 

For this very purpofe I had brought with 
me D. Lefs's * book on the truth of the 
chriftian religion. I defired him to read it, and 
he would find fufficient hiftorical proofs to be- 
lieve that the books of the New Teftament were 


* The Truth of the Chriftian Religion, by D. Le/s, 
Profefibr and Dodlor of Divinity az Göttinnen. Bremen, 
1768. 8vo. 

( 7* ) 
really the writings of thofe evangelifts and 
apoftles to whom they were attributed. 

He told me after this, that he frequently 
prayed to God to enlighten and confirm him in 
truth. He added, " I am fure God will hear my 
prayers and blefs my endeavours." 

The eleventh Conference. March the i\ß. 

T FOUND him reading D. Lefs's book on 
■*• the truth of the chriftian religion, and he faid : 
" It was fomething remarkable that there were 
fo very few' evidences in the firft century of the 
authenticity of the books of the New Tefta- 
ment." To which I replied, that it was owing 
partly to the books of the New Teftament having 
been written either about the middle, or towards 
the end of the firft century, and that for this very 
reafon but very few copies could be taken ; 
partly that there were but few writers of the firft 
century that had an opportunity of mentioning 
any thing concerning the authenticity of the 
writings of the apoftles. 

The Count faid further : " That from the 
fhort mention made in this book of the chief 
deiflical writings, he found that the objections 
againft revelation were but very trifling, and 


( 79 ) 

that he was afhamed of having fuftered himfclf 

to be impofed upon by fuch infignificant ob- 
jections. He never imagined that chriftianity was 
founded upon fuch ftrong arguments, and that 
they wouid convince him." — He then fpoke 
much in praife of thofe books he had read 
during his imprifbriment *, particularly of Gel- 
lert's Lectures on morality. He wiilied that 
thofe who had been feduced by him from virtue 
might read them. Ke laid 1 , he had in this 
refpect Count Brandt particularly in view, and 
added •, " I hear that he ftill is very gay, but 
I imagine it would make a great impreffion upon 
his mind if he was told how my fentiments are 
altered. Though he has not been more virtuous 
than I have, yet he always had a better opinion 
of religion than I had. Would you be fo kind 
as to go to him, and tell him how you find me, 
and beg him to be now at laft a little more 
ferious ? Or would you rather write to him ?" 

I anfwered, there are difficulties both ways, 
which may be avoided if you will charge the 
clergyman who attends Count Brandt with this 
meffage. Are you ready and inclined to do this ? 

" Yes," faid he, " bring the Dean Hee to 
me, I will beg this favour of him in your pre- 
fence. I am r.ot afhamed to confefs what I am 


( So )- 
fo well convinced of. I wifh I had an op- 
portunity to tell it to all my former acquaint- 

Here he told the truth, for hitherto he had 
faid nothing to the officers who guarded him ^ 
but now he began to entertain them frequently 
with religious conventions. He faid : " that 
he had been recommending religion and a vir- 
tuous life to an officer, and his anfwer was : He 
had nothing to fay againft religion -, but to obey 
its precepts in regard to fenfual pleaiures and 
lulls, feemed to him impracticable. He then* 
by quoting his own example, fhewed him how "^> 
neceffary he himfelf had now found thefe things ^ 
to be, and how unhappy they had made him* N 
He had intreated him to read Geliert often, <NJ 
who would convince him how ufeful it was ^ 
to conquer even our favorite fins." 

He added : " What difference is there between ^n 
that virtue which chriftianity demands, and that 
which the world calls an honeft life ? If mere 
worldly people, that think in the fame manner 
as I have done formerly, mould judge of my 
actions according to their fyftem of morality, I 
believe they would think them to be honeft 
enough, as I did formerly myfelf." 


( 8i ) 

Yoü muft even now, faid I, take great carfc 
not to think too well of fome of your actions ; to 
which he replied : 

" I know very well that refpec"Hng all my 
actions, which I thought to arife from good 
intentions, ambition and volnptuoufttefs had as 
great a fhare in them as my love towards that 
which is good. I count them nothing before 
God and my confcience. When in my former 
fituation, I fancied to act Well and deferving 
of praife, I thought like the Pharifee in the 

From this time, I obferved in the Count, a 
certain calmnefs and ferenity of mind, which 
feemed to arife from the hopes that God for 
Chrift's fake would pardon him. This fituation 
of his mind had been particularly vifible to his 
judges in his laft examination. They had not 
feen him fince the time I had vifited him, and 
could therefore better obferve the alteration, 
than I, who had converfed with him fo often 
during this time. One of them told me, that he 
had behaved on his examination extremely well, 
and had appealed once with a vifible joy to that 
blefled eternity he hoped to enter into. He had 
been among them as among his friends, and had 
talked about his affairs as one who fpeaks about 
G indifferent 

( 82 J 

indifferent things. His conduct had been very 
moving to them all. 

But fince it appeared to me as if he expected 
(till a certain particular fenfation of his being 
pardoned before God, I endeavoured to fet him 
to rights in this point. I told him, that with 
regard to thefe fenfations, the matter was very 
uncertain. I would not abfolutely deny their 
cxiftence, but I found no Scripture proofs that 
they were either neceflary or to be expected as 
certain confequences of repentance and faith. 
The beft and moft certain conviction of our 
being pardoned before God was, to be confcious 
that we repent of our fins fincerely, that we 
acknowledge Chrift to be our Redeemer, that we 
perceive our progrefs in godlinefs, and that we 
moft earneftly endeavour to conform our fenti- 
ments and our actions to the will of God. Who- 
ever thinks other fenfations to be neceffary, is in 
danger of being carried away by enthufiafm. 

He then anfwered me, " That he never could 
bear enthufiafm in religion, and that this was 
one great reafon that had made him averfe from 
chriftianity." He faid, " He remembered ftill, 
that once in that public fchool *, where he had 
received his instruction in religion, fome hun- 

* The Orphan-houfe at Hall. 

2 dreds 

( S3 ) 

dreds of young people were at once given out to 
be illuminated and converted, though he himfelf 
was fure, that fome of them, with whom he was 
nearly acquainted, were very immoral and wicked. 
Many ftrange things had been tranfacled by thefe 
converted boys •, fo that he and others that were 
not among the number, could not help being 
greatly fcandalized on account of religion." — 

I promifed to bring him Spalding's book on 
the value of the inward feelings in Chriflianity, 
that he might inform himfelf more on this point. 

The twelfth Conference, March the 24th 


HEEj whom I had told of the Count's 
defire to fpeak to him, came to-day with 
me. The Count was not afhamed to confefs the 
miftakes of his underftanding and his heart. He 
told the Dean minutely, how he had firft quitted 
virtue and afterwards abandoned religion, and in 
what manner he had recovered from his errors. 
He expreffed his fear, that his friend Count 
Brandt, through his natural vivacity, might be 
hindred from coniidering ferioufly on religion and 
the condition he was now in. But Count Brandt 
having always believed more of religion, than he 
himfelf, and fhewn this even in his conver- 
fation, he hoped it would not only be agreeable 
G 2 to 

( U ) 

to him, to hear that he himfelf was now better 
informed and convinced, but that it would even 
make a happy impreflion upon his mind.' 
Formerly he would not hearken to Count Brandt, 
when he wanted to fpeak to him about religion, 
but that he now thought it his duty to let him 
know his prefent fentiments. He looked upon 
himfelf fo much more obliged to it, fince he was 
acceflary to his misfortunes. 

The Count afterwards continued his conver- 
fation thus. " I have been reading the book of 
D. Lefs, particularly that part which treats on 
the miracles, reported to have been wrought at 
the tomb of the Abbe de Paris. I wonder why 
this affair, that has made fo much noife at Paris, 
is not by command properly enquired into. I re- 
member myfelf, when I was phyfician at Altona, 
that I was called upon to examine the ftate of a 
perfon that was fubject to convulfions, by which 
means I faw the unexpected and wonderful effects 
which an extravagant fancy can produce. Such 
things as the pretended miracles of the Abbe de 
Paris, mould not raife any doubts againft the 
miracles of the Gofpel. But I have other 
doubts, which appear to me of greater weight. 
However, I am refolved to think on them no 
more, for it is enough for me, after a calm 
examination, to have found the arguments for 


C 85 ) 

chriftianity unexceptionable. Would to God I 
had time to make myfelf further acquainted with 
it, and to put it into practice." 

He complained that this morning, when he was 
reading the Gofpel of St. Matthew, many blaf- 
phemies againft Chrift and the Virgin Mary came 
into his mind again, which he had formerly read 
in fome deiftical book. " Now," faid he, " I 
defpife fuch things, though formerly perhaps 
they might have raifed fcurrilous thoughts, and 
hindred my progrefs towards truth." 

I brought him Spalding's book on the value 
of inward feelings in chriilianity *. I told him, 
that I hoped the reading of it would make 
religion appear to him in a flill more amiable 
light, when he found, how much it was adapted 
to the nature of the foul, and flood not in need of 
incomprehenfibilities, of effects without a caufe, 
of apparitions, concerning which it remains always 
matter of doubt, whether they are becoming the 
wifdom of God. He anfwered : 

" This is what I hope likewife. Revelation 
muft not contradict reafon, fince God has given 
it to rational beings. The more found and folid 

* Thoughts on the value of inward feelings in Chrifti- 
anity. By John Joachim Spalding, Dean of Berlin. 
Leipftc. 1764. Second edit. 

G 3 ijeafoÄ 

( 26 ) 

reafon calls it under examination, the more mufl 
it profit by it. If thofe things which men have 
foifted into religion, were left out in the pulpit 
and dogmatical writings, almoft all the weapons 
of the deifis would become blunted. I remem- 
ber very well how much many, perhaps well 
intended fermons, which I heard at Halle have 
confirmed my unbelief. It was too plain to me, 
that thofe things which were told me there could 
not be truths revealed by God, though it 
was confidently afferted that they were," 

¥he thirteenth Conference. March the i$th. 

COULD flay but a fhort lime with the 
Count. The following is the mod remark- 
able part of our converfation : 

" The Count mentioned fome objections 
ao-ainft chriftianity, which he had read in Bou- 
langer antiquite devoilee, that fear was the origin 
of all religion among the ancients. All calamities 
which could befal men, as earthquakes, fires, 
inundations, war, &c. they ufed to look upon 
as punifhments of their gods, though they arofe 
from natural caufes •, and to appeafe the wrath 
of their deities they became to think of religion, 
He at that time believed Boulanger to have 
proved his afiertions very clearly from hiftory." 

i toja 

( «7 ) 
I told him that Boulanger was a writer of no 
credit, authority, or knowledge, either in anti- 
quity, hiftory or languages. An idiot and a 
charletan. A man who told untruth, contradicted 
himfelf, &c. like another author who wrote the 
Evangile du jour ', where he in one place proves, 
that there was no Mofes, becaufe an antient 
writer Sanchoniaton did not make mention of 
him, though he lived in the neighbourhood where 
the hiftory was tranfacled in which Mofes was 
concerned. And in another place, in order to 
make Mofes a writer of later date, it is aflferted 
that Sanchoniaton lived long before him. To 
which the Count replied : " That Voltaire was 
dangerous and captivating merely from wit and 

When I was leaving the Count, he exprefled 
his defire to inform in perfon Count Brandt of 
his prefent fentiments about religion, and to tell 
him of his reformation. He faid, " He fhould 
do this in the court of juftice, if they fhould 
happen to be both confronted ; but he doubted 
that this would not be the cafe, fince their confef- 
fions agreed together. Therefore, he mould beg 
leave to vifit him, and to tell him the fame before 
witnefles. If I were to tell it him myfelf, it would 
make a greater imprefiion upon him * and his 
condition grieves me fo much, that I would 
G 4 willingly 

( «8 ) 
willingly contribute all that is in my power 
towards his reformation." 

The fourteenth Conference, March the ibth* 

«'T WISH," faid he, when I came in, " to have 
■*■ done with thofe affairs I have now upon 
my hands ; for they hinder the regular continua~ 
tionof our conferences, and keep me from reading. 
However, I hope to finifh them foon. I know, 
I want all my time for weightier concerns of my 
foul. Neverthelefs I have finifhed D. Lefs, and I 
owe much to this book. It has brought my certainty 
to a higher degree, on account of the credibility 
of the miracles, and I can prove now the truth 
of the chriftian religion from miracles. The 
book is written with great folidity. The Germans 
begin to excell in this kind of writing." 

I told him, we had another excellent original 
of this fort, D. NorTelt's Defence of the Chriftian 
Religion •, which he, if time would permit it, 
might read with great advantage. 

We then talked of fome prophefies, which 
concerned not Chrift in particular, but whole 
nations, how far they were fulfilled. 

The calmnefs and ferenity of the Count's mind 
encreafed now fo much, that it appeared to me 
rather 3 little fnfpicious. I therefore thought it 


( 89 ) 
neceffary to remind him, not to be carried away 
by a too quickly produced compofure of mind, 
and not to forget, fince he had hopes of being 
pardoned before God, what he had been before 
his converfion : elfe his former careleflhefs might 
gain power over him again, and obftruct his 
endeavours of conforming himfelf to the will of 
God, which might caufe him a great deal of 
uneafinefs towards the latter days of his life. 

" I afllire you," was his anfwer, " that I 
have not for one moment judged myfelf indul- 
gently, and that hitherto I have not ceafed to 
repent of my former life ferioufly. I am rather 
convinced, that even in eternity, happy as it 
might turn out for me, I fhall remember my 
fins with horror and deteftation." 

On another occafion, he afked, what might be 
the reafon that phyficians were fo eafily prejudiced 
againft religion ? 

I know, faid I, that the religion of phyficians 
is commonly looked upon as fufpicious ; but I 
think without reafon. You yourfelf muft know 
many great phyficians that are, without contra- 
diction, profe'fled chriftians. Boerhaave, Stahl, 
Junker, Hofmann, Werlhof, were all chriftians. 
You are acquainted with Mead's writings in 
favour of religion. Haller has but lately pub- 
4 Hfoe4 

( 9° ) 
liihed a book in behalf of chriftianity, which 
I fhould give you to read if it was to be had here 
already. Our Berger, what a profefTed, pious 
confefibr of religion is he ! 

" Zimmerman * likewife, added he, is a chrif- 
tian. And you muft, upon the whole, not think 
that I brought this thought upon the carpet 
as a thing of any real coniequence. It is of as 
little fignification as the opinion I have heard 
maintained, that Michaelis and Semler were 

If they really were fuch, replied I, they hardly 
would give themfelves fo much trouble in pro- 
moting chriftianity as they really do. This no 
doubt is an accufation of intolerant chriftians, 
which is fufHciently refuted by the fervice which 
thefe men are of to religion. 

Übe fifteenth Conference. March the inth. 

/ "T" S H E Count having fhewed a defire to know 

"*- fomething more about prophecies, and 

their being fulfilled, I brought him, for this 

* D. Zimmerman is phyfician in ordinary to his Britannic 
Majefty at Hanover. Some of his writings are lately tran- 
flated into Englilh, particularly his EJfay on National Pride, 
and his Treatife on the Djfentery. 


( 9« ) 

purpofe, Newton's Differtations on Prophecies. 
Among many things he faid : 

" I find now of how great importance that mo- 
ral rule is, to avoid the firft fin. If we do not do 
this, but allow ourfelves to delight in thinking of 
irregular defires, without oppofing the firft emo- 
tion of them, it is frequently afterwards no more 
in our power to aft well and virtuous. I know this 
by my own experience. It feemed to me by far too 
fevere, when Chrift fays, Whofoever looketh 
on a woman to luft after her, has committed 
adultery with her already in his heart. The 
looking on a woman, thought I, even with a de- 
fire to luft after her, can be no crime if it goes 
no further. But the ruminating upon means 
how to fatisfy our defires, follow in courfe. 
Whenever I faw means to get my ends, I fancied 
it very hard if I fhould not make ufe of them. 
I did ufe them, I fatisfied my luft, and com- 
mitted a whole feries of fins, which I might have 
efcaped, if I had avoided the firft fin, the taking 
delight in the wicked defire, and ftudioufly enter- 
taining it. I then endeavoured to apologize for 
my crimes. I cannot help it, faid I, that my 
natural difpofition and temper is fo much for 
voluptuoufnefs •, it therefore cannot be imputed 
to me as a crime if I live according to this my 
tion. I was confirmed in this by that 


( 92 ) 

overbearing feverity of thofe who taught me mo- 
rals in my youth. They never told me that 
Chrift did not forbid innocent things, and that 
his morals did not deny us harmlefs joys. Every 
thing I had an inclination for, was told me to be 
fin, without diftinction. To wear ruffles, to 
powder the hair, was declared to be as equally 
impious as other extravagancies which were 
openly finful. I now concluded, that fince it was 
impoflible that the firft mentioned things could 
be fins, and I found they could not be well 
avoided in the world, it perhaps might be the 
fame cafe with the others ; they might alfo be 
innocent things, and not to be avoided. I know 
I was in the wrong ; but I was young, my pafli- 
ons raged, and my leaders mould have had more 

He added : " In the fame manner much harm 
is done by thofe teachers of chriftianity who re- 
quire always a blind obedience, and do not lay 
proofs before their hearers of that authority upon 
which they fhall build their belief in adopting 
thefe truths. — He faid it was neceffary that a 
teacher mould prove the Bible to be a divine re- 
velation : and that whoever would take only 
proper time, and was not againft the trouble of, could never examine chriftianity 
without being convinced of its truth. Every 


( 93 ) 

thing is naturally and well connected, and recom- 
mends itfelf to a mind given to reflexion. I never 
found in deirtical writings a fyflem fo well con- 
nected ; and, upon the whole, I am inclined to 
believe that there is no fuch thing as a regular 
fyflem of infidelity." 

He continued : " No objection can be made 
to chriftianity, becaufe it promifes rewards to its 
true profeflbrs. Love of God, without any re- 
lation to ourfelves, is but a mere idea. I am 
fenfible that I could not continue for a long while 
to love a friend, who (hewed himfelf always cold 
towards me. And the Supreme Being cannot 
be difpleafed with a love, that minds at the fame 
time our own intereft : for God can reap no 
advantage from our inclination towards him, but 
only we ourfelves. And why mould we not look 
out for rewards and accept of them, when God 
himfelf has offered and promifed them ?" 

" My great delight in fenfual pleafures per- 
fuaded me always, that as there was nothing of 
this kind among the joys of heaven, they would 
have no charms for me." 

( 94 ) 

l'he ßxtecnth Conference, March the 2%th. 

« T HAVE now finifhed," faid the Count, 
-*- " the Acts of the Apoftles, and by this 
means am informed of the wonderful foundation 
of the church of Chrift. It is very vifible that 
a higher hand promoted this work. For other- 
wife, how could all this have been done in fo fhort 
a time, by fuch perfons as the apoftles were, and 
in fpite of fuch an oppofition from all fides ? One 
thing rather raifed my furprize. I found that Paul 
and Peter once did not quite agree. But when 
on the other fide I perceived how much they 
agreed in the chief point of Chrift's refurredtion, 
of repentance and faith, this matter no longer 
puzzled me. They were men, and therefore 
might be miftaken in their private opinions." 

" Now and then," faid he, " I cannot help 
thinking on my fituation before my fall. This 
morning I afked myfelf, whether it would not 
have been better for me, if I could have kept 
myfelf in my high ftation, and enjoyed my ufual 
pleafures ? But when I had been confidering for 
a few minutes, I found that I now am by far 
more happy than I was in my greater!: outward 


( 95 ) 
profperity. I have frequently told my friend 
Count Brandt that I was by no means happy, 
when he believed me in many refpecls better off 
than him felf*. You cannot think what an infinite 
number of things always took up my time. 
Whatever happened abroad made me uneafy. 
I was obliged to think of means for my own 
fafety, and to force myfelf to conceal my uneafi- 
nefs both from myfelf and ethers. The day I fpent 
in difagreeable occupations and tedious diffipa- 
tions,and part of the night in reading ftate papers, 
and in writing. Was it pofiibleforme to be happy 
in fuch a fituation ? Now I am more ferene and 
more eafy. I occupy myfelf with religion, 
which interefts me much, and which is my only 
comfort. I have an hopeful profpect in eter- 
nity, and my death does riot difquiet me much, 
and not very often. How I may be affected at a 
more trying crifis, I do not know, but I am con- 
vinced of my being now happy and compofed, 
and that I am not defirous of returning into my 
former fituation." 

¥ he f event eenth Conference. March the 30th. 

tt /-j-vHE more, faid the Count, I learn chrifti- 

**• anity from Scripture, the more I grow 

convinced, how unjuft thofe objections are which 


C 96 ) 

k is charged with. I find, for inftance, that ail 
which Voltaire fays of the intolerance of thechri- 
ftians, and of bloodfhedding caufed by chrifti- 
anity, is a very unjuft charge laid upon religion. 
It is eafily to be feen, that thofe cruelties, faid 
to be caufed by religion, if properly confidered, 
were the production of human paffions, felfifh- 
nefs and ambition, and that religion ferved in 
fuch cafes only for a cloak. To be convinced 
of this, one may read only the hiftory of the cruel 
tranfactions of the Spaniards in America." 

Having finifhed reading Newton on Prophecies, 
he made fome remarks upon this argument in fa- 
vour of the truth of the chriftian religion, and then 
concluded : " My affairs of this world are now 
finifhed, a few conferences with my defenfor, and 
a few letters, which I intend to write, excepted.'* 

I then told him, that we now could regularly 
carry on our conferences, and faid, Let us now 
confcientioufly employ the reft of our time in 
promoting the great bufinefs of your falvation. 
He replied : 

" This certainly I mail do with all pofBble 
earneftnefs. Thank God ! I am fully convinced 
of the truth of the chriftian religion, and I feel 
its power in quieting my confcience and reform- 

( 97 ) 

ing my fentiments. I hope God will forgive me 
thofe doubts which perhaps might ftart in my 
rnind, and thofe flight emotions of my former 
pafTions by which I was ruled, and which even 
now fometimes will difturb me. I find no plea- 
fure in them, and endeavour to fupprefs them 
immediately. I am ready to convince you by 
any fact you may demand of me to mow how 
ready I am to facrifice my former affections. 
Never fhould I have done fo before I was en- 
lightened by religion. I do not know whether 
this is fufficient reafon for you to be fatisfied with 
me. Try me in what manner you fhall think 
proper: and if you are fatisfied with me, do 
not mind if others fhould judge otherwife, ac- 
cording to their opinon, and fay you had attemp- 
ted to bring me over by reafoning. I acknow- 
ledge it with gratitude before God, that you 
took this method. In no other manner you 
would have prevailed upon me. I fhould have 
oppofed with obflinacy. Perhaps fome impref- 
fion might have been made upon me, but a 
iblid and lading conviction never would have 
been brought about. Befides, God cannot be 
difpleafed, fince religion is fo reafonable, that 
men are gained over by reafon. Chrift himfelf 
acted fo, and Paul accommodated himfelf at 
Athens, and before Felix and Agrippa, to the 
H way 

( 93 ) 

way of thinking of thofe he had to deal with. I 
hope the manner, in which I came to alter my 
fentiments in regard to religion and virtue, will 
raife the attention of thofe that think as I 
formerly did. The deifts will never trull the con- 
verfion of their brethren, which is brought about 
in the latter days of their life. They fay, they 
are taken by furprize through the declamation of 
the clergyman ; they have loft their reafon ; they 
are ftupid or frantic by the violence of their illnefs; 
the fear of death made them ignorant of what 
they did.— But now fince I came to learn chrifti- 
anity, in the manner I did, nobody mall fay 
fo. I have examined the christian religion 
during a good ftate of health, and with all the 
reafon I am m after of. I tried every argument, 
I felt no fear, I have taken my own time, and I 
have not been in hafte. The chief bufinefs 
which I, for the fake of my own mind's eafe, 
have ftill to traniacT: is, to fearch whether I find 
thofe figns within me, which are required^ if 
upon a good foundation, I believe myfelf to be 
pardoned before God." 

I gave him a letter of his pious mother, 

which he took with an air of tendernefs and 

tranquillity. " He laid, he mould read it, 
when alone." — 


( 99 ) 

He added : " I never felt my love to my 

parents fo great, as now. I never was fo fully 
convinced of their good intentions towards me. 

And my good mother ! (here a flood of tears 

broke forth) She always has loved me with a 
kind of preference." 

The following is the letter. 

Rendßurg, March the 17th, tfj%t 

" Inflead of entertaining you with our mutual 
grief and pain, I rather find myfelf under a 
neceffity to acquaint you, with thofe prevalent 
feelings of my heart, on account of that condi- 
tion you are in at prefent. Many- (Jays and 
years the fubject of my prayers to God has been, 
that he might fave your immortal foul from 
everlafting ruin. I have therefore now facrificed 
my defires, which made me, as a mother, wiih 
for the happinefs of my children, not only of 
their fouls, but likewife of their body. If the 
mercy of God cannot otherwife reach the welfare 
of your foul, but by means that are hard and 
painful to the outward man, I have fubmitted 
with an humble and compofed mind, to the 
moft holy and moll perfect will of the Lord who 
had mercy upon us from everlafting. But never 
H 2 could 

( I0O ) 

could I expect that doleful fituation you are in 
now. My maternal heart is thereby crufhed to 
pieces, and as it were immured alive. God is 
my refuge. My fole comfort under fo hard 
fufferings, will be the falvation of your foul. I 
mail praife the Almighty with tears of joy, when 
I hear he, as the friend of finful men, has ftill 
thoughts of peace over you, and that he with 
thorns has (hut up the way which could lead 
you to everlafling ruin. I do not doubt but 
the Spirit of God has convinced your mind al- 
ready, that your Redeemer would not have you 
loft for ever, fince you are his property. Give 
but farther attention to that work of grace which 
the Holy Spirit is doing within your foul, for the 
fake of your conviction. He will reveal to you 
more, than the tongues of men can make you 
acquainted with. Think you have to do with 
nobody, but God and yourfelf, and remove 
therefore all your thoughts from things of this 
world. If the Spirit of God fnall have only firft 
glorified Chrift within you ; if you have been 
brought fo far as to apply to yourfelf his fully 
fufficient redemption ; you then will count all 
things but lofs for the excellency of the know- 
ledge of Chrift Jefus your Lord : you then will 
count it but dung, that you may win Chrift. 
Your eternal and immortal mind will enjoy al- 

( 101 ) 

ready here more eafe, comfort, and joy, than 
ever the world, with all its fplendor and pleafure, 
can afford us. It has pleafed God to convince 
my foul of this from my youth. There is no 
happier ftate in the world than to be a true chri- 
ftian, both in good and evil days. How much 
would it have pleafed me, if all my children had 
likewife let this blefled conviction be produced 
within them by the Spirit of God from their 
youth. But I have found, that this is only a 
work of God, and not of men. Now, my dear 
lbn, what may have been not properly con- 
dueled or neglected by men, let us be truly forry 
for, and beg God's forgivenefs. But do not 
defpair of God's mercy, which he has fo clearly 
revealed in (Thrift our Redeemer. Let us not 
leffen God's intentions, but give a faithful affent 
to thofe true affertions of Scripture : " God fo 
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that wholbever belie veth in him, fhould not 
perifh, but have everlafting life." But all thefe 
doctrines are fuch, that mere human reafon can 
neither clear them up fufficiently nor convince 
us thereof. You muft beg for the affi (lance of 
the Holy Ghoft : for it is he that reveals unto 
us by his word, Chrift and the great work of 
his redemption, in a falutary manner. If you 
H 3 will 

( 102 ) 

will only fet about an examination of the chief 
doctrines of our holy religion, with candid and 
fmcere intentions, and earned prayer to God for 
ihe enlightening of your underflanding, you will 
find breaking forth a light in your foul, which 
is more than mere natural, and which will ferve 
you for better infight, and greater confirmation 
of thefe doctrines. I write this after the fmall 
{hare of knowledge, which the grace of God has 
granted me. My faith has, notwithflanding all 
the literal knowledge of the revealed truth, been 
obliged to work through the moft fpecious objec- 
tions. But praifed be the Lord and his Spirit, who 
has ftrengthened my faith by his word, and by my 
own inward experience of its truth, that even the 
gates of hell fhall not prevail againft it, as long 
as I keep clofe to the Omnipotent God, and rid 
not myfelf of him. And this }s my anchor in 
thefe my higheft fufferings', elfe the waves of 
my diarefies would foon fet adrift the vefiel of 
my faith. I wifh and beg to God, that he may 
grant you this fupport of your faith. Jefus 
Chrift is, and remains for ever, the true corner- 
ftone, upon which the ftructure of our falvation is 
[ to be begun and to be finifhed. From your 
infancy you {hewed a character of mind that was 
fincere and without difguife. Let this natural 


( loa ) 
good difpofition of yours be fanctified by the 
Holy Spirit, that you may turn to your God 
with all fincerity. For God profpers the honeft. 
BlefTed is the man in whofe fpirit there is no 
guile. Learn how deeply you are corrupted, 
and come then as a curfed finner to him who 
was made a curfe for us. Your father and I 
will both cry to God and implore his mercy for 
you. I remain your heartily afflicted mother," 

D. Hee came to-day again to fee the Count, 
and to tell him, that Count Brandt greatly 
rejoiced to hear of his converfion. That he 
found his only comfort in religion, that lie never 
loft all fenfe of it, and that he from his heart 
forgave him all that he had done to draw him 
into his misfortunes. Count Struenfee gave his 
anfwer very affectingly, and D. Hee took his 

The eighteenth Conference. March the 3 iß. 

Y readers will remember that the Count 
had already adopted the doctrine of 
Chrift's redemption, and was therefore a chri- 
H 4 ftian. 

( io4 ) 

flian. He was now ready to acknowledge the 
other myfteries of religion, which are connected 
wich this doctrine, to be divine. I thought it 
neverthelefs neceffary to fnew him how reafon- 
able and ufeful they were, that by this his belief 
might be the better grounded, and that no 
doubts on account of thofe myfteries might 
make him uneafy. I made therefore firft the 
following general obfervations on the fubjedt. 

If it has pleafed God, faid I, to reveal himfelf 
to men through Chrift, his intention was, either 
to reftore natural religion among men, which 
was nearly loft, and to lay before men, with the 
higheft authority, thofe truths, which were 
difperfed in thoufands of human writings •, or 
to reveal them doctrines, which were unknown 
to mere reafon, though very neceffary to be 
known for the happinefs of men. Perhaps God 
had both thefe intentions. 

The firft of them was certainly very beneficent 
towards mankind, and particularly worthy of 
God. The knowledge of natural religion was 
only to be met with among the Jews, and per- 
haps a few heathen philofophers. The end of 
revelation therefore was to reftore this falutary 
knowledge, and to adapt it to the capacity of 


( 105 ) 
all men. But this was not the whole of the inten- 
tion-, for if Jefus was to teach only natural religion, 
the preparations, which God made to procure 
credit for his meilenger among men, feem to be 
too great. The doctrines which Chrift preached 
in this refpect, were of fuch a nature, that 
mere human reafon, as foon as it got acquainted 
with them, mud find them clear and true. 
Therefore if this had been all, it was unnecefiary 
to confirm the doctrine by means of fo many 
miracles, particularly Chrift's refurrection, and 
the infpiration of his Apoftles. 

It appears from this, that it was the intention 
of God, that Chrift mould reveal unto us doc- 
trines which were unknown to reafon, at the 
fame time that he was to teach us natural re- 
ligion : and fince he has done both, it is a proof 
that both was the intention of his coming. 
Miracles became now neceffary to ferve him for 
credentials of being a mefrenger of God, and 
to convince men that thofe new revealed doc- 
trines which Chrift preached, and were above 
human reafon, came from God. You fee from 
this, that a religion, whofe author performed 
miracles, mud, according to its intention, con- 
tain myfteries, 


( ic6 ) 
Befides, the incomprehenfible doctrines of the 
chriftian religion are of fuch a nature, that they 
inform us more fully of God and his will, and 
how a finful man can be faved. In both re- 
fpects, it teaches us more than reafon does. For 
inltance, reafon tells us the unity of God, and 
revelation adds, that Three Perlons are in one 
Deity. Reafon looks out in vain for a fufficicnt 
means of reconciliation with God; revelation 
teaches wherein this means confifts. Is it there- 
fore to be wondered at, that this revelation, 
when it fpeaks of the infinite and incomprehen- 
fible God and his decrees which were unknown 
to reafon, mould open unto us fuch profpects 
which our eyes cannot fully difcern, or which 
is the fame, that it fhould teach myfteries, and 
require our faith to believe them ? Whoever 
therefore declines adopting the chriftian reli- 
gion, (hews himfelf unacquainted with its inten- 
tion and its objects. He does not do that juftice 
to religion, which he does to other fciences. For 
though they contain more myfteries than reli- 
gion ever did, he neverthelefs does not object 
to them. You yourfelf, faid I, have met with 
thoufands of incomprehenfibilities in phyfic 
and chemiftry, but I fuppofe you never thought 
them for this reafon altogether dreams and de- 
ception. He owned it was true. 

I con- 

( i°7 ) 
I continued : If God was to reveal unto us 
myfteries unknown to reafon, and which con- 
cerned himfelf and his will, he muft do this by 
figns which we could underftand, and thefe muft 
be words. But in the language of men there 
were no words which could exactly convey that 
idea God was to communicate to us ; for we 
cannot have words in any language to exprefs an 
idea we know nothing of. God was therefore to 
make ufe of fuch words as conveyed that idea, 
which he wanted to reveal unto us, as nearly as 
pofilble ; but neverthelefs thefe words muft al- 
ways remain imperfect. He cannot apply them 
in their full fignification, and with all the ideas 
annexed to them, to thofe myfteries, which God 
has made known to us. They are to be t:,ken 
only in their primitive and univerfal fignification, 
and every thing imperfect is to be feparated from 

I explained this to the Count by fome examples, 
which he thought cleared up the matter very 
much. I faid : There are fome ideas annexed to 
that relation which fubfifts between father and 
fon. The father muft have been before the fon ; 
he muft have attained a certain age before he be- 
got the fon ; he muft have been connected with 
ß perfon of the other fex. Now if any body was 


( io8 ) 
to apply thefe ideas to the fcripture expreflion, 
Chrift is the fon of God, he would not only 
miftake the matter, but even find many contra- 
dictions. Suppofe an inhabitant of Iceland was 
to explain to an Indian the freezing up of the fea, 
he would find no word in the language of an In- 
dian to exprefs this phenomenon. Neverthelefs 
he is to fpeak to the Indian in his own language ; 
he therefore is obliged to make ufe of improper 
words and images. He could, for inftance, 
fay, In my country the fea, by the influence of 
the air, changes, at certain feafons, into ftone. 
Now the Indian is right if he thinks, that the 
fea in Iceland is fometimes as hard and folid as 
ftone ; but he is in great danger to reprefent 
the matter to himfelf quite falfly, if he was to 
apply the reft of the properties of a ftone and its 
ufe to the ideas of ice : If he fhould think that 
houfes were built of ice, and ferved like fome 
ftones for fuel to cook victuals with. 

I now defired the Count to keep thefe general 
obfervations concerning the myfteries of religion 
always before his eyes, fince I was about pro- 
pofing them to him fingly, to explain their fcrip- 
tural fenie, to fhew that they did not contradict 
reafon, and that they were beneficial to man- 


( io9 ) 

The firft myftery connected with the doctrine 
of redemption is this : Chrift is the Ton of God. 
The chief paffages of Scripture in which this 
doctrine is told, are, Matth. iii. 17. Mark ix. 7. 
John iii. 16. Thislaft paflage, where Chrift em- 
phatically is called the only begotten fon, fliews 
that he is the fon of God in a far more eminent 
fenfe than men, and particularly the pious, who 
are called children of God. 

Now if God calls Chrift his fon, what mail we 
think by this ? Chrift has his eflence of God, 
like as a fon of his father, yet not in the 
manner that this exprefiion conveys to us, which 
carries imperfections with it, but in an eminent 
manner which we cannot explain. Chrift has the 
fame effence which the father has, and is there- 
fore perfectly equal with him, Hebr. i. 3. Chrift 
the firft born and only begotten fon of God is en- 
titled to every perfection of the father, he is 
united with him in perfect love, as an only fon 
is with his father. You fee from this that the 
father has reprefented to us that relation which 
fubfifts between him and Chrift under the image 
of a father and a fon, becaufe in the whole hu- 
man nature no picture is to be found which ex- 
prefles the moft intimate union more exactly and 
more perfectly than this. — Do you find now in 
this reprefentation any thing contradicting ? 

" No, 

( no ) 

u No, faid the Count, here is no contradiction j 
the whole myftery lies in the inexplicable man- 
ner, by which Chrift has his effence from God 
the father." 

I added : Reafon, therefore, cannot pretend 
to object any thing to this propofition ; Chrift is 
the ion of God ; it rather is under an obligation 
to believe it without contradiction, out of reve- 
rence for theteftimony and authority of him who 
has revealed it unto us. 

I now made the remark, that all the myfleries 
of the chrütian religion are beneficial to mankind, 
and that it was to our own real advantage to be- 
lieve them. In this refpect it is very beneficial- to 
us that Chrift is the fon of God. Hence the fon 
of God is our friend, our benefactor, our Saviour, 
our intercelfor. Is there any thing good which 
he has promifed us, that he mould not have it in 
his power to give it ? Every thing good, both in 
heaven and upon earth, is his as well as his fa- 
ther's. God will certainly hear his only begotten 
fon when he intercedes for us. Are we to doubt 
that he that fpared not his own fon, but delivered 
him up for us all, fhall not with him alfo freely 
give us all things ? 

2 Dear 

( III ) 

Dear friend, this Ton of God is your Re- 
deemer. You acknowledge him to be fuch. 
Judge now what grace and mercy ycu may ex- 
pect, of him, if you firmly and confidently truft 
in his redemption ; if you fpare no pains to think 
and act, during the remainder of your life, like 
him, God, I truft, will not punifh. you in eter- 
nity, but be reconciled unto you through his own 
fon. He will not deny ycu life everlafting when 
Chrift powerfully intercedes for you. Praifed be 
God, who has enabled you to entertain fuch a 
glorious hope, as no power, no fplendour, no 
luftof this world, and not your own reafon itfelf 
could procure you. May he preferve you in this 
hope until your death, for (Thrift's fake ! 

The Count was very much moved, and pro- 
mifed to read what I had written on the ftibject 
of to-day, and which I left him for his further 
.perufal. He had likewife thofe fheets before him 
which I had given him upon former fubjects to 
read them over again, to fee how all thefe 
doctrines ftcod connected. He faid : 

" He remembered that we had agreed once, 
that mere reafon could not have found out the 
doctrine of redemption i but he found that 
many heathen nations had attempted to reconcile 
the Deity, by means of facrirkes." 

I anfwered : 

( 112 ) 

I anfwered : Confcience teaches man to recon- 
cile God for fins committed ; but that facrifices 
were thought to fervefor this purpofe, was per- 
haps founded in the Jewifh difpenfation. Even 
mere reafon might have invented facrifices, be- 
caufe they were a proof that we rather would 
part with our property than entertain the 
thought of being under God's difpleafure. But 
that God would give his own fon for a facrifice, 
was the manner of reconciliation which we agreed 
that reafon itfelf could never have found out. 
After this the Count faid : 

" One of my former objections comes into 
my mind again, which is : Why God could 
chufe fo defpicable a people as the Jews were, 
for his peculiar one ?" 

"When I had anfwered, that it might be, be- 
caufe they were defcendants of Abraham the 
friend of God, of whom they had received 
the true natural religion, and that they formerly 
were not fo defpicable as they now are thought 
to be, he added : 

" It is true, we cannot prove from their being 
fo defpicable at prefent, that they have been 
always fo. Befides, the defpicablenefs of a na- 

( "3 ) 

tion, is entirely a relative notion. An EngliüV 
man defpifes a Frenchman, and a Frenchman 
thinks his nation the moft respectable one under 
the fun." 

T^he nifieteenth Conference. April the ifl. 

THE Count being told that fince he be- 
lieved the doctrine of redemption, he 
could not but believe the other myfteries, be- 
caufe they were founded upon the lame authori- 
ty ; he anfwered : 

" I fhall make no difficulties about that •, if 
the one be true, the other mud be fo likewife. 
You have hitherto Satisfied my reafon, and I do 
not doubt but you will be able to do it 

I continued : If Chrift is the only begotten 
Son of God, and has of God his divine ElTence, 
he muft be the true God. The New Teftament 
and Chrift himfelf teaches this. It appears 
likewife from John v. 18. that the Jews under- 
stood him very well, for they fought the more 
to kill him, not only becaufe he had broken 
the Sabbath, but faid, that God was his father, 
making himfelf equal with God. Chrift con* 

I firmed 

( 114 ) 
firmed what he had faid, by what follows, par- 
ticularly ver. 21, 22, 23. Let us mind the fol- 
lowing three reafons: " The Son qnickeneth 
whom he will-, all judgment is committed unto 
the Son •> all men mould honour the Son, even 
as they honour the Father." 

St. Paul treats likewife, Heb. i. of the 
divinity of Chrift. He calls him the " Son of 
God, by whom the worlds are made; The 
brightnefs of God's glory, and the exprefs image 
of his perfon." He applies an expreffion of 
Pfal. xlv. 7. where God is addrefTed, to Chrift, 
and calls him abfolutely God. 

When I had read and explained to the Count, 
the two paffages of John v. and Heb. i, he 
laid : " It is undeniable, that it was the intention 
of Jefus and of Paul to tell the Jews that the 
Son is God." 

Having more fully propofed and proved this 
dodtrine of Chrift's Divinity, the Count, at the 
conclufion of the whole, faid: 

" I cannot defcribe to you, how much my 
reafon is fatisfied on account of thefe myfteries 
of religion. The more we think upon them. 


( us ) 

the more of divine wifdom we difcover in them. 
We mult only avoid afking every where: 
"Why ? We muft reft fatisfied with the autho- 
rity of their author. Even in human fciences 
this modefty is requifite : elfe we never mould 
come to any certainty. Moll: common things 
may employ our refearches for all our life time, 
before we difcover the firit caufe. Every 
why ? would draw innumerable queflions of 
the fame nature after it, though our reafon is 
not calculated to go in infinitum" 

The Count had now finimed the hiftory of 
ChrilVs fufferings, and had found the miracles 
that happened at the death of Chrift very re- 
markable. He afked : 

" If any other hiftorians, befides the Evan- 
gelifts, made any mention of them ?" 

He was told that Phlegon, Tertullian and 
Lucian, made mention of this famous eclipfe. 
Upon this the Count faid : 

" He had fpoken yefterday with fomebody, 
who would not allow thefe events to be real 
miracles, becaufe they could be fully accounted 
for by mere natural caufes ; but that he had 
told him, it was neverthelefs remarkable, 
I 2 that 

( n6 ) 
that thefe events fhould have happened at the 
time when Chrift died, and even at the hour of 
his death. It feemed as if God, even by this 
very circumftance, would raife people's attention 
to the death of Jefus." 

I told him, he might have added, that this 
eclipfe happened on the day before Eafter, when, 
at the time of the full moon, this event could 
not take place in the natural way. 

The father of the Count had defired me in a 
letter, which I had lately received, to afilire his 
fon of the continuation of his love and inter- 
ceflion before God. I communicated to him 
the letter. He would fain have anfwered fome- 
thing, but his grief of heart prevented it. 
When I left him half an hour after: " He 
begged me with tears in his eyes, to write to his 
parents, and to tell them that he certainly hoped 
to afford them the only comfort they wifhed 
for, which was, to find them again before 
the throne of God, amongft thofe that have 
received mercy." 3 

( ii7 ) 

The twentieth Conference. April the 3*/. 

'"T^HE chief fubject of this Conference was 
-*■ the doctrine of the Trinity, as it is taught 
in the chriftian church. This doctrine being 
ftated to him in the moft fimple manner, he 

" It appeared to him fo as to excite his vene- 
ration. But as he was now a convinced chri- 
ftian, as to the theoretical parts of (Thrift's re- 
ligion, he wifhed only to be the fame, as to 
the practical parts of it." 

I gave him joy of having now adopted the 
religion of Jefus with all his heart. If you now 
lofe your life, you will find infinite compenfation 
in eternity. — He anfwered : 

" Certainly I mail lofe nothing. The lofs 
would have been irreparable, if I had re- 
mained in my former fituation. For in all pro- 
bability I mould never have become a chriftian. 
But I know now for certain, that if it was pof- 
fible for me to live any longer in this world, I 
fhould never quit religion again. I have been 

I 3 often- 

( ii8 ) 

oftentimes obftinate in my opinions, and here I 
mould be To for good reafons." 

He being told in what manner he might fhew 
and convince himfelf of being a practical chri- 
ftian ; he faid : 

" I am ready to do any thing demanded in this 
refpect. It gives me pleafure to find myfelf 
willing for this. I look upon it as a gcod fign. 
Formerly I mould not have been fo. I would 
not have facrirkcd my vicious- : nclinations. I 
fhall confider in what manner I may give you 
and myfelf convincing proofs of the fincerity of 
my preient fentiments. You frequently have 
dropt a hint, as if you thought I had flill too 
great an opinion of my administration of public 
affairs. I have taken my own time to go into 
the detail of it •, I have fearched the very 
fprings, and I will not conceal before you the 
remit of my enquiries. Believe me then, that 
I had no intention of doing mifchief. Volup- 
tuoufnefs and vanity were the fprings of all that I 
did. The great opinion I had of my abilities, 
and which was fupported by others, made me 
refolve, at my firft coming into Denmark, to act a 
great part. I cannot fay I ever imagined it 
would be iuch as I have Cince acted. But 


( ii9 ) 

you know, opportunities and circumftances lead 
us fometimes farther than we thought of in the 
beginning. One ftep follows the other. Even 
from this you may conclude, that I abfolutely 
muft find the whole chain of my enterprizes 
reproachful before God and my own confcience. 
— But at the fame time, I am confcious, that 1 
was no enemy to what the great world called 
virtue and honefty. I do not tell you this in 
my own praife. I know this is not owing to 
my endeavours, but rather a confequence of my 
natural way of thinking, and every man has a 
certain general love of virtue. That I miffed 
my intention, was my own fault. I was look- 
ing out for what is good, but I did not find it, 
for I took not reafon and religion, but paflion 
for my guide." 

He had now finifhed Spalding's book on the 
value of the inward feelings of chriftianity. He 
returned me thanks for having it given to him, 
and added: 

" My ideas of that reformation in man, 
which is to be brought about by converfion, 
are greatly rectified by this book. I own with 
joy, I find chriftianity more amiable the more I 
get acquainted with it. I never knew it before. 
I 4 I be- 

( 120 ) 

I believed it contradicted reafon and the nature 
of man, whofe religion it was defigned to be. I 
thought it an artfully contrived and ambiguous 
doctrine, full of incomprehenfibilities. When- 
ever I formerly thought on religion in fome 
furious moments, I had always an idea in my 
mind how it ought to be, which was, it mould 
be fimple and accommodated to the abilities of 
men in every condition. I now find chriftianity 
to be exactly fo ; it anfwers entirely that idea 
which I had formed of true religion. Had I 
but formerly known it was fuch, I mould not 
have delayed turning chriftian till this time of 
my imprifonment. But I had the misfortune to 
be prejudiced againft religion, firft through my 
own paffions, but afterwards likewife through 
fo many human inventions, foifted into it, of 
which I could fee plainly that they had no foun- 
dation, though they were filled efiential parts of 
chriftianity. I was offended when God was 
always reprefented to me as an angry jealous 
Judge, who is much pleafed when he has an 
opportunity of mewing his revenge, though I 
knew he was love itfelf \ and am now convinced, 
that though he mud punifh, yet he takes no 
kind of delight in it, and is rather for 
pardoning. From my infancy, I have 
known but few chriftians that had not fcanda- 


( 121 ) 

lized me by their enthufiafm, and wickednefs, 
which they wanted to hide under the cloak of 
piety. I knew indeed that not all christians 
were fuch, or talked fuch an affected language ; 
but I was too volatile to enquire of better 
chriilians after the true fpirit of religion. 
Frequently I heard fermons in my youth, but 
they made no impreffion upon me. That with- 
out Chrift there was no falvation, was the only 
truth which ferved for a fubject in all fermons, 
and this was repeated over and over again in 
fynonimous exprefiions. But it was never fet 
in its true light, and never properly proved. I 
faw people cry at church, but after their tears 
were dried up, I found them in their actions not 
in the leaft better, but rather allowing them- 
felves in every tranfgreflion, upon the pri- 
vilege of being faithful believers. Laftly, I 
could not comprehend thofe inward feelings 
which many chriftians pretend to have. It ap- 
peared to me unnatural and miraculous. Never- 
thelefs, it has made me uneafy during our ac- 
quaintance, that I have found nothing of thefe 
inward feelings: and I believe you have ob- 
served my uneafinefs. I found my real forrow 
for my fins not adequate to thofe exprefiions, 
which I had heard frequently in my youth, and 

which had terrified me fo much. I endeavour- 


( 122 ) 

cd to heighten my grief to fuch a degree : but 
I faw on the other fide, that this forcing myfelf, 
by means of imagination, was not that grief I 
ibught for, or what might have pleafed God. 
Spalding's book has fatisfied me on this account. 
I am now fure that the chief point is a con- 
fidence in God through (Thrift, and a true 
reformation of mind from what is bad to what 
is good. 1 myfelf can find out and be fenfible, 
whether I have this confidence, and I myfelf 
am able to judge, whether fuch a reformation has 
taken place within my mind. 

Tfie twenty-firß Conference. April the \th % 

T Repeated to the Count all we had done 
*■" together hitherto, and furveyed with him 
afrefh the whole way that brought him to 
where he now was. After which he faid : 

" That his prefent eafe of mind was quite a 
different thing, from what he believed he had 
formerly. Now he found himfelf really compofed, 
whereas he formerly only forced himfelf to appear 


( 123 ) 

to be fo. Perhaps he might have been able to 
die with an outfide appearance of firmnefs, but 
he believed he fhould have found himfelf quite 
different, from what he hoped to find now in 
the hour of death." 

The formal impeachment of the Count was 
to come on in a few days, and he was fummoned 
to appear in perfon to hear it, and to produce 
what he might have to fay in his defence. 

This he told me, and afked my advice, 
whether he fhould let his affairs have their own 
way, or, whether he mould make the belt de- 
fence he could ? 

I told him, chrifhianity never forbad him to 
ufe all lawful means to fave himfelf. 

" Among the crimes," faid he, " that will 
be laid to my charge, there is one incapable of 
any apology or mitigation. I fee therefore that 
the probability of faving my life is by far inferior 
to that of fuffering death. And befides, I fee 
nothing pleafing before me, even if I mould 
fave my life. Imprifonment for life would be 
unfupportable to me. However, I cannot de n y 


( 124 ) 

that I fhiver when I think on the hour of death 
under fuch circumftances ! Confider, if you 
pleafe, what you would advife me to." 

I do not fee any hopes for you, faid I. Go- 
vernment has ordered you a council. He knows 
the laws better than I do, and therefore can tell 
you beft what you have to hope, and what not. 
Your judges are confcientious men, and well 
verfed in the law. 

" I am convinced of that, faid he -, they treated 
me like honeft people." 

Being advifed not to flatter himfclf with vain 
hopes of faving his life, he gave me his hand, 
and promifed that he would guard againft it. 

" I believe, faid he, God will not be difpleafed, 
that I feel the inftincl: of preferring my life, which 
he himfelf has implanted. I hope, at the fame 
time, that if I am to die, even then I fhall be 
fupported by a profpect (at leaft) of not being 
worfe ofFin eternity than I am now. — And do you 
think I fhould do wrong, if I, at my approaching 
painful and ignominious death, call to my affift- 
ance all the natural and even acquired fortitude 
which I am pofleffed of ?" 

I told 

( 125 ) 

I told him it would not be wrong if he did, 
but without any views of vanity. I hoped, how- 
ever, religion would afford a much better and a 
much furer comfort, and prove a fupport ade- 
quate to his fufferings. 

He read at prefent the Epiflles of Paul to the 
Corinthians ; and faid, he obferved in St. Paul a 
great genius, much wifdom, and true philofo- 
phy. He was particularly pleafed with his de- 
cifion of the difputed queftion : Whether it was 
right to eat what was facrificed to the idols ? He 
faid, it did honour to his prudence. 

I now gave him Spalding's fermons to read, 
which he took with great readinefs, being very 
partial to the author. 

The twenty -fecond Conference. April the 6th. 

'nr^ O fhew the Count how far his reformation 

A and his intentions of doing good were fin- 
cere, and how far his hopes of having received 
God's mercy were well grounded, I laid the 
following queftions for felf-examination before 
him, and took his anfwers down in writing, that 
I might confider them by myfelf when alone, 
and tell him afterwards my opinion how far I 
found them agreeing with the fenfe of the Gofpel. 


C 126 ) 

The following are the principal queftions and 
his anfwers. 

Are you heartily forry that you have offended 
God by thofe voluptuous thoughts and actions of 
which you find yourfelf guilty ? 

" I look upon it as one of my greateft crimes, 
and know that it has led me further and further 
from that truth which I might have found in the 
knowledge of religion, and I confider it as the 
principal fource of all my crimes and vices." 

Do you think on thefe tranfgreflions with de- 
teftation, which gave you, according to your 
former fentiments, the greateft pleafure r* 

" I think not only with indifference on all 
thofe fenfual pleafures, but even I hate them, 
fince I find how oppofite and detrimental they 
are to real happinefs." 

Do you believe, that if you had for the future 
any more opportunities to commit thefe fins, you 
would avoid them out of obedience to God ? 

" I am fure I mould not be able to avoid 
them for any other reafon. Therefore, fince I 
begin to tafte the happinefs of virtue, and am 
fure that I cannot acquire it but by a true fear of 


( "7 ) 

v^ d and the defire of acting according to his 
will, I am determined never to lofe fight of this. 
I fhall endeavour to rectify all my principles and 
actions by the efficacious affiftance of tfrefe means, 
which I am become acquainted with through the 
knowledge of God and his revelation." 

's v 

Are you truly forry becaufe you have offended 
God by leading on to immorality, and by making 
unhappy, through your inclination for fenfual 
pleafures, not only certain particular perfons,. 
but other people likewife ? 

" I am extremely forry that I have rendered 
unhappy fome perfons by my principles, inconfi- 
deratenefs, and inclination for fenfual pleafures r 
not only by hindering their temporal welfare, but 
likewife by corrupting their moral character. Ac 
the fame time I repent very much that I have fee 
fo bad an example, and thereby fpoiled the good 
morals of others. I reproach myfelf on account 
of thofe perfons whom I have actually feduced."' 

Do you deteft thofe tranfgreflions to which 
your ambition has inftigated you? the falfe 
principles upon which you founded your ambi- 
tion, and the unlawful means you have ufed to 
fatisfy it? 

« The 

( 1*8 ) 

u The firft moral principles, according to 
which I acted, were againft God's precepts, and 
were founded upon a lyftem of honour which I 
myfelf had formed, and where the principal view 
was always to gratify my own defires and felf-in- 
tereflednefs. According to my prefent conviction, 
I cannot but think the whole chain of my actions 
in regard to honour reproachful, even then when I 
might juftify or excufe them before the world/' 

Are you forry that the happinefs of fo many 
people, befides that of your friends, who fuffer 
with you now, has been made, a facrifice to 
your ambition, during the time of your exalted 
flation ? 

" I own I cannot excufe before God my having 
thought too flightly of other people's happinefs. 
I abufed the maxim that a fingle member of fo- 
ciety might fuffer for the benefit cf the whole. 
God has recommended to us the love of our 
neighbour as the chief of virtues, which requires 
that every one mall promote the temporal welfare 
of fingle perfons as much as lies in his power, at 
leait {hall he not deftroy it. All my political 
reafons, which then determined me to act fo, 
will not excufe me or quiet my confcience. 
And as for the misfortunes of my friends, I feel 


( 129 ) 

them fo much the more, fince my natural tender- 
hefs on this point difpofes me already for it." 

Do you repent of that prefumption with which 
you placed yourfelf at the helm of adminiftra- 
tion, gave laws, and trifled with the happinefs 
of the nation ? 

" I find myfclf guilty cf this in my confcience. 
If even I could derive fome excufes from the 
circumftances I was in, and which drew me in 
further than I thought in the beginning •, I am 
neverthelefs always to be blamed, for not making 
a ftronger oppofition, and not taking my mo- 
tives for doing it from religion, where I might 
have found them." 

Are you fully determined to profefs chrifti- 
anity until your end, and will you ever act ac- 
cording to its precepts ? 

" I now glory as much in chriflianity and in 
acknowledging my former errors, as I then 
did in treating it with contempt. My refolution, 
which is founded upon conviction, gives me the 
fureft hope that I, in all circumftances, ihall keep 
to it, and obferve its precepts until my end." 

Are you confcious that you bear no hatred 

againft thofe whom you think your enemies, nor 

K againft 

( 130 ) 

againft thofe who have promoted your prefent 
misfortunes ? 

" Since my temper is not revengeful, I am 
lefs inclined to hatred, and I truft that thofe per- 
fons who are the caufe of my misfortunes, have 
been acting from conviction, and with an intent 
to promote the intereft of the king and the king- 
dom. And if even fome people mould have 
acted from perfonal enmity, I forgive it very 

Are you confcions that you fpoke the truth 
before your judges, and in your converfation 
with me ? Do you likewife propofe to fpeak truth 
in what you fhall fay to your counfel, in your 
defence ? 

" I do not remember to have fpoken before 
my judges one untruth wilfully, unle/s, perhaps, 
for want of memory, fome miftake has happened. 
Still lefs do I know of any thing untrue which I 
might have fpoken to you. I intend likewife not 
to fay any thing in my defence, that mould not 
agree with truth." 

Do you find a true defire to be pardoned by 
God, through the merits of Chrift, and do you 
truft in God that he will not refufe it ? 

" I have 

( Hi ) 

" I have no other hopes but what are founded 
in God's pardon, and I am convinced, that there 
are no other means for me to obtain it but the me- 
rits of Chrift. I ftrive to qualify myfelf for this 
through fincere faith in my Redeemer, and by 
making my thoughts and fentiments conformable 
to his will I pray to God to ftrengthen me in 
this refpe<5t, fince 1 find within myfelf nothing 
but incapacity and weaknefs." 

Do you look upon this pardon of God as the 
greater!: favour that can be conferred upon you ; 
greater than even the faving of your temporal 
life ? 

" The faving of my life and all other tempo- 
ral emoluments appear to me but very fmall in 
comparifon of everlafting happinefs, which my 
inward feeling has made me experience already." 

Do you acknowledge yourfelf obliged, on ac- 
count of this pardon, to love God and your Re- 
deemer fincerely, and will you ftrive to increafe 
this love ? 

" The more I grow convinced, the more im- 
preflion the mercy of God and of my Redeemer 
makes upon me, and increafes my love and gra- 
titude towards him." 

K 2 Are 

( 132 ) 

Are you determined to fhew this love towards 
God, by a ready obedience to his will, as long as 
you fhall have time for it ? 

" Since I hope to be more and more convinced 
of the love of God towards me, and fince I ac- 
knowledge that what he has decreed relating to 
me, is in all refpecls, particularly in regard to my 
foul, the moft advantageous, I am fure that I 
mail fubmit to all his will, without murmuring 
and without reluctance." 

Suppofe your death mould within a few days, 
by the interpofition of God's government, be- 
come unavoidable, would you fufFer it humbly 
and confiding in God, terrifying as the circum- 
stances may be which (hall attend it ? 

" As much as lies in my power, fupported by 
that confidence which I place in God, I (hall die 
with a chriflianlike refolution. 

Are you refolved to derive all your comfort 
only from religion, and not to call in for afiift- 
ance a fecret ambition, or an affected fortitude ? 

" I have refigned every thing which may be 
called ambition, and have been obliged to do it ; 
I am therefore fure that in the laft moments of • 
my life I fhall not be difturbed by this pafTion. 

I rather 

C 133 ) 

I rather mail derive all my comforts from reli- 
gion. Even my former ambition would not 
have led me to affectation. Without religion I 
fhould have died as to my outward appearance 
juft as I felt myfelf inwardly. Properly fpeaking, 
I have been obftinate only in defending my opi- 
nions, and in this refpect I might, perhaps, too 
often have been guilty of affectation." 

The Count affured me, on the clofe of this 
examination, that he in all refpects had told me 
exactly the fentiments of his heart. — When I was 
going to leave him, he begged I would flay a 
little longer, fince he had fomething to commu- 
nicate to me. 

" I have been confidering, faid he, about 
what I afked your advice the other day. I fee 
plainly my life cannot be faved ; I am likewife 
eafy about it, and I hope the wifh to live longer 
will difturb me no more, though I do not know 
how I fhall be affected when I am very near death. 
If the awful moment was but once paft, I then 
fhall have loft nothing. If, when I am going to 
fuffer death, I am but capable of thinking, I am 
fure to find compofure and comfort in religion." 

And if you mould not be able to remember, 
faid I, I mail put you in mind of it, though I do 
not know how much I myfelf mail be affected. 
K 3 "I wifk 

( i34 ) 

u I wiili only you may not be too much af r 
fected, faid he, for this would add to my fuf- 

I fhall do as much as I can to moderate my 
tender feelings, and I believe to be able to do 
this, if I can have hopes that you die a chriftian. 

" I have been, faid he, very uneafy about 
another thing. You know my chief crime. 
You know that by confefling it, other per^ 
fons to whom I lie under great obligations, 
are rendered likewife unhappy. I have been 
thinking whether it had not been my duty, on 
their account, not to have confefTed, fince grati- 
tude and friendfhip feemed to demand it. I have 
been very uneafy about it. But I took to prayers, 
as now my conftant practice is, when I am 
under anxiety, and confidered this whole mat- 
ter on all fides, directing my heart perpetu- 
ally towards God. I found that my denying 
would hinder truth from appearing, and from 
making its way as it ought. I faw that it would 
be ftill worfe to cover one crime with another, 
which would fill me with anxiety of confcience, 
and make me incapable of receiving God's par- 
don. And certainly the requeft would be unjuft, 
that for the fake of laving others I mould facri- 
fice my everlafting falvation. I found, laftly, 

( 135 ) 

that if I had denied every thing hitherto, I now 
mould have difcovered it to you, anddefired you 
to acquaint my judges with it. By reafoning in 
this manner, I have been fo fortunate as to quiet 
my mind. I do not care now if people, who 
have no notion what it is to be anxious about 
everlafting falvation, mould think me to be both 
a faithlefs man and a traitor. My confeflion muft 
be approved of by all true and rational chriflians. 
However, the misfortune that has befallen my 
friends on account of my confeflion, grjeves me 
more than I am able to exprefs : I can pay them 
no other damages, but by praying to God to 
give them the comfort of religion and virtue. 
This is what I continually am praying for ; and 
if thefe prayers are granted, I am fure their lofs 
is fufficiently repaid," 

The twenty-third Conference, April the jth. 

/ ~T" V H E Count being told that his anfwers to 
•** the queftions propofed to him yefterday 
were fuch as proved, that he hitherto had ful- 
filled thofe conditions, under which God had 
promifed to grant his pardon, he faid : 

" I thank God that my peace of mind is like- 
wife a proof of my being not rejected by God. 
J cannot but perfuade rm jf If th&t although now 
K 4 in 

( ^ ) 

in my fetters, and near a difgraceful death, I am 
by far more happy than I was in my former 


When I had convinced him from Scripture 
pafifages, that my judgment was well grounded, 
and had comforted him by telling him, that the 
more he got acquainted with the advantages of 
his converfion, the more his faith would increafe, 
and fupply him with infinite comfort againft 
death, he faid : 

" Yes, I hope to experience that my death is 
but one difficult fiep, and every thing I lofe by 
it lliall infinitely be repaid to me." 

Some exhortation being given, he faid : 
" That every night he examined himfelf whether 
he had done or thought any thing that might 
difpleafe God ; if fo, he prayed for forgivenefs 
for (Thrift's fake, and repeated all his good pur- 
pofes, together with their motives. I believe 
likewife, laid he, that I can pray now with 
more chearfulnefs. Hitherto I found myfelf 
always unworthy, but I have ventured to pray, 
truftihg to God's mercy." 

Being advifed to thank God for all the grace he 
had ihewn him during the time of his conver-r 
fion, he aniwered ; 

ff I remember 

C 137 ) 
" I remember with gratitude thofe powerful 
impreflions made upon me by perufing many of 
the pafTages in thofe books I have been reading ; 
in particular when I was reading the Life of 
Chrift. I own my inclination to look out for 
truth and to embrace it, has increafed thereby 
from time to time." 

Juft when I was leaving the Count, he faid : 
" I am come now to a refolution how I lhall act 
in regard to my defence. I fee neither my life 
can be faved, nor my actions be juftifled, never- 
thelefs, I hope to be able to fhew, that fome are 
not quite fo bad as they appear to be ; for you 
know, to confider our actions in a moral light be- 
fore God, and in a political one before the world, 
are two different things. I know how bad mine 
appear in the former ; but it does not follow that 
a thing mould be equally as bad when confidered 
in a political light, as it may be in a moral one. 
I fhall reft fatisfied to (hew (for more I cannot do) 
that my political miftakes were the confequences 
of error, precipitation and pafiiön, but not of a 
defign to do mifchief. I think I owe this to 
truth, and even religion itfelf, as far as my con- 
verfion may either promote or hinder its intereft. 
If, by keeping filence, I had allowed that I had 
J?ad intentions (though I do not recollect any 


C 138 ) 

myfelf), it perhaps then could eafily have hap- 
pened, that my con verfion would have been looked 
upon as weaknefs and confufion of mind, notwith- 
ftanding it is the produce of a ferious and rational 
difquifition. The world might elfe have faid, 
that a man could eafily facrifice his former prin- 
ciples of religion, when it was a matter of indif- 
ference to him, whether he was thought to be a 
profefTed rogue, or only a man who had tranf- 
grefTed from error in judgment." 

'The twenty-fourth Conference. April the qth, 

AFTER reciting the happy confequences of 
•*■"* his converfion, I afked the Count if any 
one of thofe days of his former grandeur and tem- 
poral profperity had ever procured him that true 
tranquillity of mind which he now enjoyed in his 
prifon and in his fetters ? 

" You are in the right, anfwered the Count ; 
and if nothing elfe had made me unhappy, the 
infatiatyenefs of my pafiions would have done it, 
for the moft frequent enjoyments could. not fa- 
tisfy them." 

He fpoke likewife very fenfibly about his ap- 
proaching death. " He declared that death it- 
felf (the terrifying circumitances which his might 

' 3 * 

( '39 ) 
be attended with excepted) prefented nothing 
dreadful to him, fince he knew where it was to 
conduct him." He declared: 

" It fhopld not make him uneafy, if there was 
even any truth in the opinion of thofe who af- 
ferted, that the foul, when feparated from the 
body, Ihould be in a ftate of obfcure ideas and 
fenfations, or in a kind of deep. For if my 
foul was not confcious of itfelf, or was only in 
a place of fecurity and eafe, I Ihould lofe no- 
thing by it. Should this fleep laft even athou- 
fand or ten thoufand years, it would not make 
me unhappy, for during all this time, I fhould 
not know of any thing. However, it is by far 
more agreeable to me to learn from Scripture, 
that my foul, inflantly after parting from the 
body, fhall enter, confcious of itfelf, into pof- 
fefiion of its happinefs." 

Towards the clofe of this converfation, he 
faid : " Though Scripture tells us but little 
about the (late the foul mail be in during its 
feparation from the body, yet even this little is 
matter of great comfort. If God had found it 
ufeful and neceftary to give us further informa- 
tion, he would have done it. It is fully fuf- 
ficient to quiet my foul, when I know it will be 
in the hand of God.— From this you may judge 


( I40 ) 

how much it muft vex me, if now and then 
this thought returns : l perhaps there is no 
eternity V I examined myfelf to-day very flri<St- 
Iy, if perhaps I found a fecret pleafure therein, 
or if I -entertained an obfcure notion of its 
being true : but I profefs I found neither of 
them. There is not a ihadow of probability 
left of my former fyftem, and the ftrong proofs 
of the contrary are always before my eyes. Be- 
ides, I am fo much interested in my being at pre- 
fent better informed, that I would not part with 
my conviction upon any account, or act wilfully 
contrary to it. If by committing any crime, 
even fuch as the world did not acknowledge to 
be fuch, I could gain the greateft temporal 
advantage, I am confident I mould not commit 
it. If I was promifed for certain, my life 
ihouid be fpared, and that I mould be reftored to 
my former fituation, under condition that I con- 
tradicted the confeflion I have made of my 
crimes, and that I confirmed with an oath my 
new affertion, I am fure I mould rather die than 
contradict truth, and take fuch an oath. I am 
convinced I never fnould think thus, where I 
was not perfuaded of eternity, and rather 
wiihed or thought it to be a vain fancy. But 
I fee now how difficult it is to extirpate fuch 
falfe ideas, as we were formerly fond of." 


( H* 1 

The Count had read Spalding's fermons, 
and afllired me he was much edified by them. 
Some of thofe books which had contributed 
much to enlighten and reform him, he fent to 
Count Brandt, for whom he fhewed the ten- 
dered care. I gave him this day Doddridge's 
treatife on the rife and progrefs of religion in the 

He defired me to write to his parents, and to 
comfort them by the account I could now give 
them of him. 

The twenty -fifth Conference. April the i ith. 

A Converfation which the Count had with 
"*■ ** a perfon who difliked the reading of the 
Bible, on account of its ftile, gave occafion to 
fome remarks on the (tile of the Bible. Among 
the reft he obferved, that the raileries of the 
freethinkers about Chrift and his doctrine, were 
plain proofs, that they had no intention of 
acting honeftly. " It is in general impertinent, faid 
he, to turn a virtuous man into ridicule. The 
old and unufual expreflions of the Bible cannot 
be the true reafon, for which they fhould think 
them deferving ridicule. They do not laugh 
at other ancient writings, which are written in 
fuch a ftile. If they, for inftance, were to 
read the books of Confucius, I am fure they 
2 would 

( 142 ) 

would not hefitate about his ftile, but praife 
his morals. In the fame manner, they extoll 
the fables of iEfop, but the parables and nar- 
rations of Chrift will not pleafe them : notwith- 
ftanding they are derived from a greater know- 
ledge of nature, and contain more excellent 
morality. Befides, they are propofed with a 
more noble and artlefs fimplicity, than any 
writings of this kind, among ancient or modern 
authors. There muß: be therefore fomething 
elfe which prejudices them againft Chrift ; and 
I do not know what elfe it could be, but 
their heart, which makes them averfe to his 

Some days fince, the Count had obtained 
leave to have pen and ink j and he faid, " he 
would make ufe of it, to draw up the account of 
his converfion, which he had promifed to leave 
behind him.'* 

It will be, faid I, a very acceptable le- 
gacy to me. Write with reflection, and I hope 
it will not be ufelefs. It fliall remain an 
authentic monument of your religion and 
piety. I therefore leave it entirely to you, 
to arrange your thoughts and to write them 
down. I will have no other (hare in it, than to tell 


( HB ) 

you in general terms, how it is to be drawn up 
fo as to anfwer its intention. This intention 
is partly to efface thofe imprefiions your ex- 
ample has made upon the minds of others, 
partly to raife the attention of thofe that are of 
the fame way of thinking as you formerly were. 
It mull therefore appear by this writing, that 
your fentiments about religion and virtue are 
really altered. At the fame time, you are to 
relate how this alteration was produced. I think 
this to be neceffary, left any body mould doubt 
its truth. As to your ftile and expreffions, it 
muft be fuch, as will not be difpleafing to the 
people of the world, and that others may not 
entertain any doubt of your having become a 

" I mail endeavour," faid he, " to keep 
thefe rules before my eyes. But if you find 
any miftake, that I perhaps was not fufficiently 
acquainted with fome doctrines, or that fome 
paffages may be liable to cenfure, you are always 
at liberty to correct them." 

No, replied I, not a fingle word mall I 
attempt to alter. It muft be entirely your 
own, for fear fome people fhould think it 


( 144 ) 

The Count remembered the late Reverend 
Mr. Alberti of Hamburgh, with whom he was 
perfonally acquainted, and wifhed to read his 
fermons, which I fent him. 

tte twenty-ßxth Conference. April the 1 3th, 

" A Lberti's fermons," faid the Count, " have 
J ^r much edified me. They have like- 
wife contributed to make me have a greater re- 
gard for religion, and at the fame time made me 
more compofed and happy." 

The to-day's converfation turned upon the 
doctrine of the refurrection of the body. The 
Count having been made acquainted with the 
arguments in favour of it, faid : 

" He believed the chief objections againfl 
the refurrection of the body, were flarted after 
it had been pofitively afferted by Chrift. From 
that time, thofe who had a bad confeience, be- 
came fearful. They endeavoured to fecure 
themfelves by fuch objections, againfl anxious 
expectations." He added, after fome other 
reflexions, « That death was not indifferent to 


( H5 ) 
him, but yet not terrible. Neverthelefs, he 
could not deny, but that he had great reafon to 
repent of thofe actions by which he had haftened 
it -, yet, fince this could not be altered, and he 
was fure that his fins would be forgiven, he 
had nothing that could attach him to this life, 
except the natural inftinct of felf-prefervation ; 
and he was ready to leave this world as foon 
as God pleafed to call him. He did not care 
what might become of his body after his de- 
ceafe, for it was fafe every where under God's 
care. In the mean time, he would make the 
beft ufe of his time he could, and endeavour to 
become every day better and more acceptable 
to God. For this purpofe, faid he, I read, 
I pray, I reflect on my former and my prefent 
fituation, and compare them both ; I fpeak to 
the officers about religion and virtue, but with- 
out intruding and without affectation." 

The twenty-feventh Conference. April the i^th. 

T?Uture judgment, and everlafting rewards 
A and punifhments, were the fubject of this 
Conference. With regard to eternity and fu- 
ture punifhments, the Count expreffed himfelf 
in this manner: 

L « If 

( Ho ) 
" If even the punifhments of a future 
world, were only to lafl during the life of a 
man, it would be very terrifying, and furncient 
to keep us from fin. It would be dreadful 
enough if the punifhments confided in nothing 
elfe but the natural confequences of fin, without 
any further difpenfations of God. I thought 
men might be punilhed in eternity by thofe 
pafiions to which they were addicted in this 
world. They leave this world with all their 
internal appetites, which attend them in all 
their ftrength. There is nothing in the other 
world to fatisfy thefe defires. They confume 
themfelves in invariable longings, and vain 
wifhes, God need only fay to them : You lhall 
remain as you are." 

Being told that fince his f .lutary reformation, 
he joyfully might expect his lentence before 
God's tribunal, he replied, " That he really 
waited with joy for it, and trufied in God's 
mercy." He laid, " His objections, which he 
formerly thought unanfwerable, were now 
quite gone, or at lead of fo little conlequence, 
that he doubted about the truth of religion no 
more than about my being with him. He was 
now fo confcientious, that he examined every 


( i47 ) 
thing he did and thought, whether it agreed with 
the will of God. And he found himfelf by 
this fo well, fo compofed, fo happy, that he 
was fure, he mould confbntly think and aft 
in the fame manner." 

As the time of his death drew near, I thought 
proper to infpire him with ideas of futurity; 
for which purpofe I gave him Lavater's Pro- 
fpects into eternity. 

The twenty-eighth Confemice. April the i jth. 

/ "T~* , day our converfation turned partly upon 
■*• eternity. On occafion of the explana- 
tion of feveral paffages of Scripture, that have 
a relation to this fubjecl, the Count admired 
the propriety of St. Paul's expreflions, and the 
images he made ufe of. 

" I find now," faid he, u that I from time 
to time get more acquainted with the ftile of the 
Apoftles. They write extremely well, now 
and then inimitably beautiful, and at the fame 
time with fimplicity and cleamefs." He quoted 
feveral pafTiges, particularly from the eighth 
chapter to the Romans. He added, " I fhould 
L 2 like 

( H8 ) 
like to fee other publicans and tent-makers, 
write in the fame manner as the Evangelifts and 
Apoftles did." 

Being reminded that his uncommon and un- 
expected calmnefs and compofure of mind, was 
a confequence of his being certain of God's par- 
don, he faid: 

" It is certainly a confequence of my being 
pardoned for (Thrift's fake, and of my being 
confcious that my fentiments are altered ; and this 
accounts for thofe ill founded ideas of the feel- 
ings in chriftianity. The compofed mind which 
chriftianity procures, is fuch a feeling. I have 
it now myfelf. They were only miftaken in 
explaining the reafons thereof. Why mould 
God produce thefe fenfations by miracles, when 
they are the natural off-fpring of a well founded 
conviction, and a true converfion r" 

Towards the end of the converfation, he de- 
clared, " That he thought himfelf very happy 
in being fo near eternity, though the manner in 
which he entered into it muft be melancholy for 
him. In the mean time, he would do every thing 
in his power, to be in a fituation in which he 
might hope.. to overcome the terrors of death, 


( *49 ) 
and to be certain of an happy immortality. He 
believed, his duty in this point conlifted chiefly 
in having his former life continually before his 
eyes, that he might keep up a lively fenfe of 
repentance, and in driving to confirm himfelf in 
his prefent fentiments, to mind them, and to ac- 
cuftom himfelf more and more to them. This, 
faid he, is now my whole occupation ; it is fo 
interefling to me, and pleafes me fo well, that 
nothing is more agreeable to my tafte. A little 
while ago I ufed, as I told you, to read 
ibmetimes Z,' hifioire generale des voyages. I 
then thought that I could employ my time 
better. But not being willing to appear in my 
own eyes in a hypocritical light, I would not 
forcibly fupprefs my inclination for this book. 
This inclination has now left me, I do not like 
to read, or to meditate on any thing elfe, but what 
concerns my chief bufinefs, which is a preparation 
for eternity. Thank God, I am advanced now fo 
far, that my doubts do not make me any more 
uneafy. What you told me in the beginning, 
I find to be true, for no objetftion prefents 
ltfelf but what I am able to anfwer to my fatis^. 

L 3 <♦ The 

( i5<> ) 
" The chriftian religion," faid he on another 
occafion, " is fo engaging, that it certainly mult 
pieafe every one who is properly acquainted 
with it. We fhould fee the bell effects of it 
among the common people, in reforming the 
world, if it was properly reprefented, and made 
intelligible to the capacity of different forts of peo- 
ple. They fhould be made fenfible, that in this life 
they could never be happier than by following 
the precepts of chriftianity. Every one then 
would be convinced, that, fuppofing even this 
religion to be a delufion, it mult be fuch an one 
as contradicts entirely the nature of error and 
delufion, becaufe it is the belt and trueft way to 
happinefs. Every one would think it worth his 
while to maintain this error and to propagate 
it." — He continued, " I wifh you and other 
divines would write fmall pamphlets, to acquaint 
the people with the advantages of chriftianity, 
_which might be of greater fervice than preach- 
in^. — In this manner Voltaire has written, as 
you know, innumerable little pieces againft re- 
ligion, which contain always the fame over again 
under different titles, and in a different drefs. 
Rational friends of chriftianity mould learn of 
him this method, by which he does much mif- 
chief, and apply it to better purpofes. Voltaire 


C 151 ) 

boafts of having found out this method, as he 
fays, to enlighten the world. I remember that 
when I converfed with D'Alembert at Paris, in 
my travels, that he f oke much in praife of this 
method, and admired Voltaire's wifdom in this 
point. However, I do not believe him to be 
the inventor of it. Perhaps he has borrowed 
this way of fpreading his principles from Chrift 
himfelf, who taught truth, fometimes in para- 
bles, lbmetimes in queftions and aniwers, fome- 
times in fermons." 

" D'Alembert told me at the fame time, that 
he had carefully examined chriftianity, and had 
found nothing againft reafon in it. But the 
reafon why he did not adopt it was, becaufe he 
had no inward feelings of it. Thefe feelings 
were the gift of God, and fince he denied them 
him, he hoped to be excufed for not having it, 
and confequently for not being a chriftian." 

Laftly, the Count complained of having been 
for fame time troubled with difagreeable dreams. 
He wanted to know how far there was any mo- 
rality in them, and how far they could be char- 
ged to men. Being told that they proceeded from 
the free exertion of the foul during the time we are 
awake, he faid : " This anfwer fatisnes me, for 
I never think of thofe things, to which the 
L 4 dreams 

( 152 ) 

dreams are related. In general, I obferve, that 
they derive their origin not from fenfations and 
ideas, which were but lately in my mind, but 
from fuch as were at a greater diftance of time. 
Thus, during the firft week of my imprifon- 
ment, I dreamt of nothing but of my parents, 
whom I have not feen a long while. It was 
as if I were in their houfe and their company. 
Many things that happened in their prefence 
during my infancy,, came into my mind again." 

The twenty-ninth Conference. April the 2.0th. 

AMONG other things, which were the 
*• fubjeel of this converfation, it was men- 
tioned, that the nearer and more perfect contem- 
plation of the works of God in futurity, would 
be a fource of pure and everlafting joy to che 
bleffed. The Count then mentioned, " That 
the contemplation of the works of nature had 
oftentimes afforded him great fatisfadlion, and 
that it had been the only means of keeping him 
from atheifm, into which he otherwife certainly 
Ihould have fallen.'* 

An exhortation of advancing in godlinefs, 
fince his end was fo near, produced the following 


( 153 ) 
declaration from him : " Thank God," faid he, 
" I am ready to die, if it mould be even 
to-morrow. The freethinkers will fay, I mould 
have found within myfelf flrength enough 
againft my misfortunes, without applying to 
religion. They will fay, I (hewed myfelf now 
a coward, and was for this reafon unworthy of 
my former profperity. I wifh to God I had not 
been unworthy of it for other reafons. How- 
ever, I mould like to afk thefe gentlemen, in 
what manner I mould have found comfort with- 
in myfelf ? I dürft not think on my crimes, on 
my prefent fituation, on futurity, if I wanted 
tranquillity of mind. Nothing was left for me 
but to endeavour to flupify myfelf and to dif- 
fipate my thoughts. But how long would this 
have lafted in my prefent folitude, and being 
removed from all opportunities of diflipation ? 
And fuppofe it had been poflible, it would have 
been of little ufe, for the caufe of fear and 
anxiety remained always, and would have roufed 
me frequently from my artificial infenfibility, 
I tried this method during the firft weeks of my 
confinement, before I reflected on my condition. 
I laid for three or more hours together on my 
bed. My fancy compofed romances, I travelled 
through the whole world, and my imaginations 
produced a thoufand pictures to amuie myfelf 


( *54 > 

with. But at that time I fancied to fee many 
ways of faving my life. I did not know whether 
and how far, my crimes might be difcovered. 
A certain cfrcumitance, which deprived me of 
all my hopes, was then fcill unknown to me. 
And even then, diffipation would not anfwer 
the purpofe. If I could dream in this manner 
perhaps for feveral hours, my terrors and my 
anxieties would return again. Perhaps fome 
people will fay, I mould have exerted my pride, 
and fhewn, at leafc by my outward conduct, that 
nothing could humble me. But alas! what a 
miferable pride is it to have a bad confeience, 
and to think of dying on a fcaffold! — No, I find 
it is better to derive my comfort from the only 
true fource, which is religion. And I wifh that 
thole who blame me now for taking fhelter un- 
der it, may find in their laft hours the fame 
tranquillity it affords me. There is but one thing 
in this world which makes me really and con- 
tinually uneafy, which is, that I have feduced 
others to irreligion and wickednefs. I believe 
I mould not properly enjoy my future happinefs, 
if I knew any of thofe I have deluded, would 
be eternally unhappy. It is therefore my mod 
fervent wifh, and my own happinefs depends on 
it, that God would fhew mercy to all thofe, I 
have by any means turned from him, and call 


( *55 ) 
them back to religion and virtue. I pray to 
God for this fervently." 

Some queftions being afked concerning his 
prayers, he faid : " He prayed frequently. He 
held foliloquies in his own heart, and excited 
himfelf to confirm and rectify his fentiments 
more and more. He addreffed himfelf alfo to 
God, and begged his affiftance for himfelf and 
his friends." 

He defired me to let him have fome of 
Cramer's fermons, and the Mejfiah of K lop- 
flock. He faid, " He had feveral times at- 
tempted to read this poem, but he never had 
any tafte for it. Perhaps the fault might have 
been his own, becaufe he was ignorant of thofe 
doctrines of religion it was grounded upon, and 
never thought them of any importance. Now as 
he knew more of religion, and thought quite 
differently, he would try if the poem might 
produce good fentiments in his foul." 

( *56 ) 

'fbe thirtieth Conference, April the 2 iß. 

HPH E Count was now fo much altered, that 
A fome of his former friends, whom I told 
of his prefent turn of thoughts and of his con- 
duct, would fcarce believe it. However, I had not 
the leaft reafon to doubt of thefincerity of either. 
I do not know for what purpofe he mould have 
attempted to deceive me. Befides, difiimulation 
was no part of his character. All thofe who 
had an opportunity of feeing him, found him the 
fame as I did, and I in particular had from the 
beginning guarded myfelf againft being deceived. 
His prefent peace of mind feemed to me in par- 
ticular a fure proof of the effects of religion upon 
his heart. Among many obfervations he made 
to-day, the following feem to be of fome im- 

" I confider it now," faid he, " as a kind of 
folly, that the deifls pretend to be offended at 
the humble appearance Chrift and the firf^ 
teachers of Chriftianity made. I need not ob- 
ferve, that in relation to God, nothing is either 
little or great, but cannot help remarking that 
this humble appearance of Chrift was very well 


C 157 ) 
adapted to the defign of his million. The com- 
mon people took him now to be one of their 
equals, and placed confidence in him. For this 
reafon Chrift chofe his Apoftles among the lower 
clafs of mankind, and the Apoftles converfed 
moftly with fuclt. And even thefe common people 
were as proper fpectators of their miracles as an 
aflembly of philofophers, as they were all ofthat 
nature, that nothing more was required to judge 
of them, than the natural fenfes and a common fhare 
of underftanding. A private foldier is perhaps more 
fit for fuch an obfervation, than a general who has 
his head full of other things, or thinks it not 
worth his while to attend to it. The evidence 
which is given by men of common underftanding 
in behalf of Chrift's miracles, is therefore worthy 
of credit. The learned and the philofophers can 
now confider thefe facts, and examine whether 
they are real miracles, and then determine how 
far they are in favour of Chrift and his doctrine." 

Laftly, the Count declared, " that he had a fin- 
cere love towards God and his Redeemer, that 
he rejoiced in the blefllngs of eternity, though he 
was not anxious as to the time when he mould 
partake of them. The fenfe of his repentance 
was not fo lively as formerly, fince he could apply 
the comforts of the Gofpel to quiet his confei- 
3 ence. 

( 158 ) 
ence. I beg of you,'* added he, " confider of my 
fituation, whether you find me as I mould be. 
Write to Cramer, and defire him to tell his opi- 
nion -, I am ready to do what he or you fhall pre- 

The Count knew that there was a correfpond- 
ence between Cramer and me concerning the pro- 
grefs of his converfion ; I ufed to communicate 
to him thole pafiages in Cramer's letters that re- 
lated to him. He readily made ufe of Cramer's 
reflexions and doubts. He was very defirous of 
his letters, and enquired even the very laft morn- 
ing of his life, if any of his letters had been re- 
ceived which concerned him. 

The thirty-firß Conference. April the i\th. 


H E following obfervation of the Count 
will ferve to give us an idea of his cha- 


" Do not mind, faid he, if it mould be 
faid, you ought to have urged to me argu- 
ments which were not fo philofophical and more 
evangelical •, I allure you that by no other means 
you would have found accels to my heart than 
by thofe you have chofen. There are only three 
ways which you might have taken : declamation, 
2 ftirring 

( 159 ) 
ftirring up the imagination, and cool enquiry. If 
you had chofen that of declamation, I fhould 
have immediately thought, If the man has a good 
caule, why does he not prop crfe his reafons with- 
out any art : if God has a revealed religion, it 
muit Hand the teft of enquiry; I therefore fhould 
have heard you without any emotion. If you 
had endeavoured to dir up my imagination, you 
muft have done it by filling it with terrible defcrip- 
tions of eternity. This method would have had 
ftill lefs effect than declamation: I was very fure 
that after death there was nothing either to hope 
or fear. Any iirripr&fi'on you might have made 
through fear would foon have worn off, and 
would have entirely vanifhed by recollecting my 
former fyftem. The only way left you was that 
which you chofe, I mean, cool enquiry. I will 
tell you now what refolution I had taken before 
you came, and for what reafons I entered into 
converfation with you. About eight days before 
your firft vifit to me, the commander of the 
caftle afked me if i chofe to converfe with 
a divine ? Thinking, however, that every 
clergyman would be apt either to preach too 
much, or tire me with melancholy declamations, 
I declined the propofal, and faid ; I and all di- 
vines differ very much in opinion, and I have 
no inclination to difpute. However, I knew 


( i6o ) 

that I mull expert a clergyman to attend me by 
order of government, I therefore refolved to re- 
ceive him civilly, and to hear him with decency 
and compofure. I intended to declare to him, 
at the end of the firft vifit, that if he was ordered 
to fee me frequently he would be welcome, but 
I mould beg of him not to entertain any hopes of 
converting me, for I was too well convinced of 
my own opinion, and mould therefore never 
enter into any ufelefs difputations. — When you 
came, my dear friend, I immediately perceived, 
that you had no intention to declaim to me in the 
ftile of a preacher, or to fill me with fears and 
terrors» and inflame my imagination. You only 
defired me, fince the matter was of fo great con- 
fequence, to examine into my own principles, 
and the evidence for chrifiianity. I found this 
reaibnable, I had time to do it, and fancied I 
ihould, by this enquiry, difcover that chrifti- 
anity had no foundation, and convince myfelf 
more ftrongly of the truth of my principles. We 
begun our conferences with great coolnefs ; I read 
the books you gave me, though with diffidence, 
yet with attention. This did not continue long, 
and I could not help perceiving that I had been 
miftaken. It can fcarcely be believed how much 
it has coll me to own my error, with regard to 
myfelf, as well as with regard to you. You may 


( 1*1 ) 

remember that I did not from the firft deny that 
I had acted wrong, and had been unhappy in my 
former fituation, and that my confcience re- 
proached me. But, considering my former ob- 
ftinacy, it was a great victory over myfelf, to 
confefs that my former principles were falfe. 
To proceed fo far was only to be done by reafen. 
You are the bed judge why you treated me in 
the manner you have done; but the fuccefs en- 
tirely juftifies you: my converfion is, through 
the grace of God, luckily brought about. In 
what manner this is effected muft be indifferent 
to all but you and I. Senfible chriftians will 
rejoice that my foul is faved, and that you have 
chofen this method, which, in regard to me, 
was the only good one." 

Towards the end, of our converfation I told 
him, that this week, in all probability, would 
be the lail of his life, as I knew that next 
Saturday fentence would be pronounced againft 
him, and that between the fentence and the 
execution of it, there would be very few days. 
He received this news v/ith his former refolution 
and ferenity. 

" I hope, faid he, that I (hall certainly meet 

my death without ftupifying fear and anxiety. 

I am only apprehenfive that you will be much 

M affefted 

( 162 ) 

affected by this fhocking fcene. If it would have 
no bad effe£t upon the Spectators, I fhould defire 
you not to accompany me to the fcaffold." 

No, faid I, dear Count, I am your only friend, 
and I dare not leave you. I will comfort you 
with the hope, which I entertain as a certain one, 
that yon mall be happy in eternity : I will aflift 
you under this fevere fate ; and the only recom- 
pence I expect, is to fee you die as a christian. 

The thirty -ft cond Conference. April the i%d. 

/ "lp H E Count, after afking me why fo many 
who know the precepts of chriftianity, do 
neverthelefs not live up to them, related a con- 
verfation he had with one of the officers, wherein 
he attempted to fhew, that it was not impoflible 
to practife the laws of chriftianity. He after- 
wards defired me to appoint a day when he could 
receive the facrament. I imagined that Thurs- 
day would be the day of his execution, and as he 
wifhed to comply with this folemn institution 
fome time before he fuffered, we appointed the 
Monday following. 

( 16 3 ) 

The thirty -third Conference, jipril the i^thh 

f I s H E Count had yefterday finifhed his ac- 
count of his converfion, and he now deli- 
vered it to me. 

He allured me he had drawn it up with a kind 
of anxiety, left he mould fay any thing which 
was not ftrictly conformable to his former and 
prefent principles. This was the reafon why he 
had been fo long about it. He was afraid he 
might not have exprefTed himfelf in fome places 
with perfpicuity and propriety, fince he had not 
for fome years written much in the German lan- 
guage, and never upon fuch a fubject ; befides, he* 
had endeavoured to expfefs himfelf with concife- 
nefs, for fear of being too prolix. The employment 
itfelf had been very agreeable to him, as it had 
given him an opportunity of recollecting all the 
arguments by which he had been convinced, and 
had now found them fo ftrong, that he was con- 
fident he would not redeem his life for all his 
former profperity, by any action which might 
contradict his prefent conviction. He defired me 
now to read what he had drawn up, to judge 
whether it anfwered that intention for which it 
was written. 

M 2 I then. 

( i*4 ) 
I then read the whole before him, and found 
fome oblcure paffages, exprefiions and ideas, 
which might be mifunderftood by chriftians and 
unbelievers, and made my remarks upon them. 
Some of thefe paffages he altered with his own 
hand, fome he rather chofe to leave as they were. 

" I have drawn up, faid he, this account, to 
convince chriftians, as well as thofe which are 
not, and in whofe hands this may fall, that I be- 
came a chriftian after mature confideration, and 
that I die fuch. I am pretty well acquainted 
with the turn of thinking of the laft, and will 
prevent them from faying that I turned chriftian 
from fear, and weaknefs of underftanding: I muft 
endeavour to convince them, that I have exa- 
mined the fubject, and reafoned upon it, to fliew 
them, for inftance, what is my opinion of the 
myfteries of religion, and why I do not think 
them contradictory to reafon. If fuch of my 
readers as are chriftians fhould find my ideas not 
altogether as they mould be, or my expreflions 
fometimes improper, I hope they will not be fur- 
prized, conßdering how new thefe truths are to 
me, and how little I am qualified to fpeak or to 
write about them. You know, my dear friend, 
how I now believe, without any further reafoning 
or explanation or infght into the connexion of the 

, whole 

( i*5 ) 

whole fyftem, every thing that Chrift has taught, 
becaufe his word is fufficient for me." 

The Monday following, as I have mentioned 
already, was appointed for receiving the facra- 
ment. I told the Count, thatfince it was a folemn 
action^ and at the fame time a public confefllon 
of his chriftianity, I thought it proper that it 
mould be celebrated before fome witnefles, that 
were known to be true chriftians. He anfwered : 

" I wifhed to receive it with Count Brandt, but 
fince this will be matter of difficulty, I beg of 
you to intreat the commander of the caftle to be 

The Count did not appear to. me to-day to be 
fo ferene and chearful as he ufed to be. I en- 
quired what could be the reafon of it, and he 
gave me the following anfwer : 

" You know that to-morrow I expect my 
fentence ; this has induced me to reflect on 
former times. I thought if I had not acted in 
fuch a manner as I have done, I mould not 
have come into this mifery j it has made me 
rather uneafy : however you may be fure that 
this uneafinefs will foon pafs over ; I have found 
already fufficient reafon to be above fuch re- 
M 3 flexions, 

( i 66 ) . 
flexions, fince they are at prefent ill-timed and 
entirely unneceffary. 

The thirty-fourth Conference. April the 2$th. 

" "\ T Oluptuoufnefs, faid the Count, is the 
* fource of all my misfortunes ; ambition 
has only contributed to haften and complete them. 
I have told you already, that when I firfl came 
into Denmark I intended to cut as great a figure 
as my fituation would permit. I then did not 
think of obtaining that power, to which I was 
raifed -, I could have fatisfied myfelf with being 
eminent in my profeflion as a phyfician. You 
will find this to be true from what I am going to 
tell you. I had refolved to leave Alton a, to re- 
fign my ftation there. I intended to go to 
Malaga, and to fettle there as a phyfician, or to 
make a voyage to the Eaft Indies. I had the 
following reafons for my firfl: refolution. I was, 
at the time I took it, rather in ill health, and 
hoped a milder climate would agree better with 
me. The notion that the pleafures of volup- 
tuoufnefs would be greater and more pleafing in 
a warmer climat •, were a matter alfo of fome 
confequence. The many fine things in the Eaft 
Indies, which I had read in voyages, and which 


( i6 7 ) 

had warmed my imagination, determined me 
more for the Eaft Endies than for Malaga : be- 
fides the great hopes I had of making a fortune, 
and fatisfying thofe defires which made me think 
at firft of Malaga. Now a profpect opened itfelf 
to me, of making my fortune in Denmark. I 
feized on the favourable opportunity. And 
why ? I am almoft afhamed to fay it was owing 
to an acquaintance procured by a love intrigue 
which brought me hither. How greatly muft I 
deteft my former way of thinking, which made 
me follow a wild pafllon which always was blind ! 
And how much am I now punilhed for it !" 

He was juft fpeaking of feveral things which 
concerned his heart, of his affections towards his 
parents and family, of his complying with his 
fate, when his council came into the room to 
acquaint him with his fentence. " Good Count, 
faid he, I bring you bad news." He then pulled 
a copy of the fentence out of his pocket. 

" I expected nothing elfe, faid the Count ; let 
me fee." 

He read. I fixed my eyes upon him with 

great attention, but I did not obferve the leaft 

M 4 alteration 

r .168 ) 

alteration in his countenance. After he had 
read it, he gave it to me. It was as follows : 

" In confequence of the Danifh flatute law, 
book vi. chapter iv. art. r. It is hereby declared 
jufl and right, that Count John Frederick 
Struenfee, for his due punimment, and that he 
may be an example to terrify others, has for- 
feited his honour, his life, and his eftates. He 
mail be degraded from his dignity as Count, 
and all other digities which have been conferred 
upon him. His coat of arnr, which he had 
as Count, mail be^ broken by the common hang- 
man. Likewife mail John Frederick Struenfee's 
right hand, and afterwards his head, be cut off, 
his body (hall be quartered and laid upon the 
wheel, and his head and his hand {hall be {tuck 
upon a pole." 

During the time that I was reading this fen- 
tence and trembled, he began to talk with com- 
pofure with his council, and afked if all the 
points of his accufations had been regarded in 
framing his fentence. The couniel anfwered in 
the affirmative. " And what will be the fate of 
Brandt?" His fentence is exactly the fame as 
yours, «« And could his council do nothing in 
order to fave him ?" He has faid every thing 
that could be faid in his favour, but Count 


( i6 9 ) 

Brandt has too much laid to his charge. The 
Count was more moved at this, than at his own 
fate. However he foon recollected himfelf, 
wrote fomething to what he had drawn up for 
his council, and returned it to him. 

When we were alone, I affured him of my 
fincere compaflion, and exhorted him to fufFer 
his fate with the patience and fubmifilon of a 

" I afTure you," faid he, " I am very eafy 
about that. Such punifhments fhould make an 
imprefiion upon others, and therefore they ought 
to be fevere. I had prepared myfelf for this 
and more. I thought I might perhaps be 
broken upon the wheel, and was already con- 
fidering whether I could fufFer this kind of 
death with patience. If I have defervcd it, my 
infamy would not be removed, though thofe 
difgraceful circumftances were not annexed to 
it. And if I had not defer ved it, which I 
cannot affert, fenfible people would do me 
juftice, and I fhouid gain in point of honour. 
And upon the whole, what is honour or in- 
famy in this world to me ? My judges had 
the law before them, and therefore they could 
not judge otherwiie. I confefs my crime is great ; 

I h.;ve 

C '70 ) 

I have violated the Majefty of the King. Many- 
things I might not have done if I had been fuf- 
ficiently acquainted with the law — But why did 
I neglect it r" 

To be fure, faid I, you only are to blame. 
One of your crimes, of which there is not the 
leaft doubt, is not only a crime againft the King's 
Majefty, but alfo againft the whole nation, 
and it would be looked upon as flieh in any 
other country. That unlawful power which you 
ufurped to yourfelf, is likewife a crime againft 
the conftkution of Denmark. And though per- 
haps you might not think you had been guilty 
of high treafon on this account, yet the fact is 
proved, and the law is clear. He owned all this, 
and I was forry to have faid fo many difagree- 
able things to him. He added : 

" I muft only beg of you to be upon your 
guard, left you fhould be too much affected 
when I go to die. The friendfhip I have for 
you, from which I cannot but fympathize with 
you, would make me very uneafy to fee you 
fuffer. Let us however continue our converfa- 
tion calmly and compofed to the laft. Upon 
the fcaffold fpeak to me as little as poflible, and 
as you fhall think proper. I fhall certainly do 
as much as lies in my power to direct my thoughts 


( i7i ) 

towards God and my Redeemer. I fhall not take 
my leave of you. Believe me, that without 
this ceremony, which likely might difcompofe 
my mind, I know and feel how much I owe 

My readers will recollecl how much this un- 
happy man was moved by a letter he received 
from his father, at a time when he ftill 
maintained his irreligious principles, Now 
they have feen with what a compofure of mind 
he heard his fentence, after he was become a 

He delivered to me the following letter for his 
parents, and left it to me, whether I would fend 
it now or after his death. I chofe the latter, be- 
caufe I knew his execution was very near, and 
I would fave them the anxiety of expecting the 
melancholy news of it. The letter was as 
follows : 

" Your letters have encreafed my pain, but I 
have found in them that love which you always 
exprefied for me. The memory of all that for- 
row which I have given you, by living contrary 
to your good advice, and the great affliction 
my imprifonment and death muft caufe you, 


( 172 ) 

grieves me the more, fince, enlightened by 
truth, I fee clearly the injury I have done. With 
the moft fincere repentance, I beg your pardon 
and forgivenefs. I owe my prefent fituation to my 
belief in the doctrine and redemption of Chrift. 
Your prayers and your good example have 
contributed much towards it. Be afTured, that 
your fon has found that great good, which you 
believe to be the only true one. Look upon 
his misfortune as the means which made him 
obtain it. All imprefTions which my fate could 
make upon you, will be weakened by this, as it 
has effaced them with me. I recommend my- 
felf to your further interceflion before God. I 
pray inceflantly to Chrift my Redeemer, that he 
may enable you to bear your prefent calamities. 
I owe the fame to his affiflance. My love to 
my brother and filters. I am, with all filial re- 
fpeft, &c." 

The thirty -fifth Cofiference. April the 26 th. 

T Heard from General lieutenant Holben, the 
A commander of the caftle, that Struenfee had 
been very uneafy all laft night : That he had 
kicked with his feet, gnafhed with his teeth, and 
gnawed his fingers. The officer upon guard 
got up to him, but found him faft afleep. I 


( *73 ) 
enquired of my unfortunate friend, whether he 
had been troubled with difagreeable dreams. 

" That when he awaked in the morning, he 
remembered nothing but the bringing to his 
memory all the arguments, by which he was 
convinced of the truth of chriftianity. Of the 
uneafinefs of his body he remembered no- 

I had to acquaint him with the melancholy 
news that his fentence was confirmed in every 
particular circumflance, and that it was to be 
executed the day after to-morrow. I hoped he 
would hear it with a compofed mind, and it 
happened fo. As to thofe circumftances which 
were to throw infamy upon his death, he ex- 
prefled himfelf thus : 

" I am far above all this, and I wifh my 
friend Brandt may be the fame. Here in this 
world, fince I am on the point of leaving it, neither 
honour nor infamy can afFect me any more. It 
is equally the fame to me after death, whether 
my body putrifies under ground or in the open 
air, whether it ferves to feed the worms or the 
birds. God will know very well how to pre- 
ferve thofe particles of my body, which, on the 
day of refnrreftion, are to conftitute my future 


( m ) 

glorified body. It is not my all which is to be 
laid upon the wheel. Thank God ! I know 
now very well that this duft is not my whole 

When I told him that next Tuefday would 
be his dying day, he anfwered : 

" I thought it would be Friday. However, 
I do not wifh even for this fhort delay. It would 
be the fame as if I was to undergo a painful 
operation for my health, and mould defire to 
have it delayed when it was juft going to be per- 
formed. I mould be obliged to fubmit to it at 
laft, and I fhould only recover my health later." 
— He then went through all the circumftances 
of his death, and compared them with thofe of 
the death of Chrift, and found that Jefus had 
fuffered infinitely more for his fake, than he was 
to fuffer on account of his crimes. He praifed 
the power of prayer in comforting him, when 
he was now and then anxious about the Hep he 
was to take. 

I am unable to defcribe the eafe and tran- 
quillity with which he fpoke. 'I expected much 
from the power of religion over his heart, but it 
exceeded my moll fanguine expectations. 


( *75 ) 
He afiured me that religion, and his firm 
hopes of being pardoned by God, had produced 
this eafe of mind. He owned that his natural 
coolnefs of temper, his ufing himielf for many- 
years to keep his imagination within bounds, 
and his entertaining himfelf rather with reflec- 
tions of found realon than images of fancy, had 
in fome refpects fupported him •, but he was 
convinced that all this, without religion, would 
never have compofed his mind. God had adap- 
ted it for all kind of tempers and for all cha- 
racters. It was fit for all men, and it found in 
him a good foil to produce all its good effects 
of tranquillity and fortitude in advert! ty. Pie 
added : " Although the way which leads me 
out of this world is very difagieeable, yet I have 
reafon to praife God that he has made choice of 
it ; that he has fnewn me the approaching death 
aforehand, and at the fame time has extricated 
me out of the pleafures and diflipations of this 
life. In no other manner fhculd I have become 
acquainted with truth, or mould have reformed 
my fentiments ; though I am furc I fhould 
have adopted chriftianiry in all filiations of life, 
if I had known it fo well as I do now : And yet, 
I never mould have taken proper time to ex- 
amine into it. When I formerly thought on 
death, it had but little effect upon me. I rather 


( *7* ) 

fupprefled it, fometimes by thinking It was a fate 
which could not be avoided, and therefore was 
not to be called into our thoughts before there 
was occafion for it: fometimes, by perfnading 
myfelf it was folly to imbitter the prefent en- 
joyments, by thinking on what was to come. 
Even when I was in danger of my life, I avoided 
looking into futurity. I have been fometimes 
fo dangeroufly ill, that my life has been defpair- 
ed of; I have been riding furioufly, and no 
longer ago than lad flimmer broke my arm, by 
being thrown from my horfe, but it never en- 
tered my thoughts to look one ftep further than 
this prefent life. 

Being reminded of felf-examination, he laid, 
" he did it every day. It was an occupation 
he liked." — Among other things, he faid : " I 
know my adminiftration of ftate affairs is very 
blameable before God and men, and my own 
confeience, on account of the bad principles by 
which I was actuated, namely, levity, hafte, 
pride and felfilhnefs. How far they are wrong, 
either upon the whole or fingly confidered in a 
political light, I am unable indeed to determine, 
becaufe I mall not live to fee the confequences. 
However, I muft expect to have been fubject 
to error in my political principles, as well as I 


( m ) 

have been in my religious ones. I leave this 
point to be decided by thofe that furvive me, 
and I fubmit to their judgment. This only I can 
and mud fay, (for I mould fpeak untruth if 
I was to fpeak otherwife) that I am not con- 
fcious of any bad intentions." 

After this a converfation enfued about the 
Lord's Supper. When it was finifhed, I told 
him that a poor peafant, who met me to-day in 
the ftreet, called out to me : ' Father, do what 
you can to convince Struenfee that he has finned 
againft our Lord Jefus Chrift; and if he ac- 
knowledges this he will be faved.' The Count 
was much pleafed, on account of the chriftian 
love which this man had fhewn ; and obferved 
that chriftianity could inftill fentiments of 
humanity into the minds of illiterate people 
whofe fouls were not refined by education. 

" Reading," faid he, " will not fufficiently 
entertain me at prefent, therefore I have been 
writing to-day." Among the reft he had written 
the following letter to Lady Perkentin at 
Pinneberg, which he defired me to take care 
that it rright be fafely delivered. The folio wing 
is the letter. 

N My 


( >78 ) 

My Lady, 

I make ufe of the firft moments, which 
permit me to write to you. Bufmefs, duties, 
and my late connexions, have perhaps lef- 
fened in me the remembrance of my former 
friends, but they have hot been able to obli- 
terate their memory entirely. My prefent leifure 
has revived it the more lively. If my filence 
has raifed fufpicion againil my former fenti- 
ments, I beg pardon of all thofe that are in- 
titled to my gratitude, and of you, my Lady, in 
particular. This, however, is not the only ad- 
vantage, which the change of my fate has pro- 
duced. I owe my knowledge of truth to it, it 
has procured me a happinefs of which I had no 
more expectation, fince I had already loft fight 
of it. I intreat you to confider my misfortunes 
in no other light but that of religion. I gain 
more by it than ever I can lofe, and I feel an 1 
affure you of this with conviction, eafe and joy 
of heart. I beg of you to repeat what I now 
write, in the houfe of Count Ahlefeld and at 
Ranzau. I am under great obligations to thefe two 
families, and it has grieved me the more, to have 
drawn vyith me into misfortunes, perfons which 
are related to them. Permit me, my Lady, to 


( 179 ) 

add to this, my refpects to Lady Thun, and 
the family of Mr. de Waitz. I remain, with 
moft refpectful ientiments, &c." 

April the 26th, 1772* 

The thirty -fifth Conference. April the ibth. 

Came to-day to the Count with general lieu- 
tenant Hoben, who, at my requeft, was 
prefent at his receiving the facrament. I ad- 
miniftered it to him ; and this man, who re- 
ceived his fentence of death without any appear- 
ing alteration of mind, was during the whole 
time of this facred tranfaclion, as if he was 
melting into tears. I never obferved a tear in 
his eyes as often as we were talking about his 
misfortunes and death ; but on account of his 
fins, his moral mifery into which he had thrown 
himfelf and others •, on account of the love of 
God towards him and all mankind, he has wept 
more than I myfelf mould believe, if I had not 
feen it. 

When the whole tranfaftion of receiving the 

facrament was over, he begged leave of the 

commander of the caftle, to make prefents of 

the trifles that he had left, his bed, his linen, 

N 2 and 

( i8o ) 

and the little money which he had faved out of 
his allowance, which was a rixdollar or a 
crown every day. He faid, " I have now no 
more property." 

He then took his farewel of the commander, 
in a very affecting manner •, thanked him for all 
kindnefs he had fhewn him, and declared, that 
he had not denied him any favour that was in 
his power to grant. The old venerable man 
left him with thefe words : " I am fure we 
mall find one another again before the throne 
of God." 

When we were alone again, he faid : " No- 
thing is now of great importance to me, but 
to be certain, that I mail appear before God 
with all pofiible fincerity and uprightnefs of 
fentiment. I therefore have examined myfelf 
once more carefully, and I find a kind of plea- 
fure in it, becaufe it is my duty. I am confcious 
that I perform every thing chearfully and with- 
out the leafl reluctance, fmce, enlightened by 
chriftianity, I have learnt what is my duty. 
Thus have I thought myfelf obliged, to draw up 
the account of my conver-fion, which is in your 
poflefiion, to efface as much as pofiible that im- 
prefiion, which I have made upon others by my 


C 181 ) 
converfation and example. I can aflure yon, 
I felt more fatisfaction in writing it, than ever I 
did in drawing up other things, that concerned 
partly my defence. I have more minutely ex- 
amined my administration of flate affairs - y and I 
can, according to my confeience, judge of it no 
otherwife than I told you yefterday. I go into 
eternity, confeious that it was not my intention 
to make the King or the nation unhappy. It is 
true, I have, within a fhort time, amafied con- 
fiderable riches, and taken advantage of the 
King's favour towards me, in a manner I can- 
not anfwer for -, but I never have falfified the 
accounts, though much in this refpeCt feems 
to be againft me, and I can blame nobody 
who thinks me in this reipect likewife 

It is difficult to difmifs every fufpicion on this 
head againft Struenfee. And if he was guilty, 
of how little value would be his converfion ! It 
has made me uneafy frequently, and even now 
ftill after his death. All manner of appearances, 
bis own confeflion, that he could not free himielf 
from all fufpicion, and many other evi- 
dences are againft him, However, on the 
other fide, it makes me eafy that he confefTed 
greater and more punifhable crimes, without 
N 3 jconftraint, 

( 132 ) 

conftraint, but denied this with a firmnefs, 
calmnefs of mind and confidence, which, in- 
explicable as the matter remains, makes it 
difficult to believe him guilty. 

* c I have traced out, continued he, the origin 
from which my prefent calmnefs and tranquillity 
proceeds. I am fure they are quite different 
from thofe which afforded me comfort in my 
former misfortunes. It is quite impoffible in 
my prefent fituation, to draw my thoughts from 
my imminent danger by diifipation. Approach- 
ing death is not fo eafily expelled from one's 
thoughts. I feel no more of any pride. I am 
too fenfible how little I am in this my prifon. I 
detefl the principle that teaches, there are no ex^ 
pectations after death. Nothing but the afiii ranee 
of the divine mercy through faith in Chrift, and 
the confeioufnefs that I fpare no pains to make 
my fentiments acceptable before God, comforts 
and compofes me.' 3 

" However," added he, " this my eafe makes 
me not idle ; for I continue, and fhall do fo 
until to the very laft, to fearch earneftly after all 
thofe things in me which flill may difpleafe 
God, that I may remove them as much as 

3 Among 

( «83 ) 

Among the many proofs he gave of this, I 
(hall only mention the following, becaufe it 
mews how fcrupuloufly confcientious he was. 

" I think, fajd he, that it is the duty of a 
christian to pray before he fits down to a meal, 
though my fentiments in this refpect do not 
favour fuperflition. It is but juft, to direct our 
thoughts on fuch occafions, full of gratitude, 
towards him who fupplies our wants in this way. 
I therefore have made it for fome time a rule to 
pray before and after dinner and fupper. How- 
ever, my old cuftom had frequently fo much 
power over me, that I oftentimes fat down to 
eat before I had faid grace. Now it may be 
equally the fame whether I direcl my thoughts 
towards God, before or after having taken two 
or three fpoonfuls of foup ; but it has vexed 
me to find that my old carelefs way of thinking 
has made me forget, what I thought to be my 

How do my readers like the confcientioufnefs 
of a man, who formerly indulged himfelf in 
every thing his pafllons drove him to ? 

( i»4 ) 

sfhe tbirty-feventh Conference. April the 2jtB, 

Found him to-day in the moft unfeigned 
tranquillity of mind, to which indeed I had 
been witnefs for feveral weeks paft, but which 
appeared more and more ftriking to me the 
nearer the time of his death advanced. I praifed 
God in my heart, who fhewed fo much mercy to 
this unhappy man ! How often did I wifli that 
I might not be the only man upon earth, who 
heard him ipeak fo compofedly about his death. 

He had written another letter to the Chamber- 
lain de Brandt, the brother of the unhappy 
Count, which he defired me to get delivered. 
Several ether papers, which he had written in 
his prifon, were inclcfed in a cover, and fealed 
up by me in the prefence of the commander of the 
caftle, who once more did us the favour to 
come into the prifon. The other papers, which 
coniifted of thofe writings of mine, which I had 
given him from time to time, and the two 
letters of his parents to him, he delivered to me 
Jikewife. — And now he had fet his houfe in 
prder, — 

( i85 ) 

The following is the letter to the Cham- 
berlain de Brandt. 

" Sir, 

''^Permit me to bewail with you and the Lady your 
mother, the fate of our dear Enevold. Do not think 
me unworthy of maring this your grief with you, 
though accidentally I have been the caufe of it. 
You know how much I love him. He was the 
man of all the world who poflefTed the largeft fhare 
of my friendfhip. His misfortunes give me the 
greateft anxiety, and my own have been on this 
account mod painful to me. He has lhared my 
profperity with me, and I truft that we now both 
together ihall enjoy that happinefs which our 
Redeemer has promifed us. I do not know any 
thing wherewith I could comfort you. You are 
acquainted with religion. There I found refuge 
to comfort me on account of my misfortune. I 
pray to God, that he in this very moment will 
let you feel all its power. I fhall not ceafe to 
entertain a moft lively fenfe of gratitude for all 
thofe perfons, which are dear to me at Ranzau. 
I am wholly your's." 
jipril the 27th, 1772. 

" P. S. I have been in hopes, and ftill flatter 

myfelf, that the fentence of my friend will be 


2 The 

( i86 ) 

The fubjecl: of our to-day's converfation was 
chiefly upon the redemption of Chrift. I re- 
peated moftly what I had fpoken on the fubjecl: 
already when we purpofely treated on it. He faid 
many (hiking and edifying things on this oc- 
cafion ; but the emotion my heart was in, 
prevented my perfect remembrance of each par- 
ticular. The following is part of it 

" I look upon the reconciliation of men to 
God, through the death of Chrift, as the only 
means of receiving forgivenefs of fins. Every 
thing elfe, which is believed :o ferve the fame 
purpofe, is apparently infufftxient. But this is 
conformable to all our notions of God ; it pro- 
duces ideas fuitable to the attributes of God ; it 
is founded on the beft reafons, and procures us 
comfort and chearfulnefs at the time when death 
approaches. Whoever will not adopt and make 
ufe of this redemption, declares that he will nei- 
ther be virtuous, nor fear God ; for he rejects 
the ftrongeft motives which God could ever pro- 
pofe to mankind, to fear him and to love virtue ; 
he flights the affiftance of God, without which 
nobody can be honeft or good." 

He added : " I leave the world, fully con- 
vinced of the truth of the chriftian religion." 

I then 

( »8 7 ) 
I then turned our converfation upon the 
love of a pious chriflian towards God, I 
fhewed him how much we were obliged to this 
love on account of the redemption, and afked 
him how he found his love towards God and 
his Redeemer. He faid : 

" I look upon God and Chrift as my beft 
friends ; and in this view I confider thofe oblio-a- 
tions of love which I owe to God and my Re- 
deemer. I firft muft know and feel for what I 
am indebted to my friend and benefactor. He 
is defirous of making me happy, he finds the 
means of doing it, he facrifices on my account 
what he loves and what is dear to him. As lono- 


as I do not acknowledge this, or do not know 
how to value the fame, fo long am I unworthy 
of his friendship, and do not love him. I am 
further obliged to fhew my readinefs to a£fc ac- 
cording to his intentions : elfe I am ungrateful, 
and want him to be my friend only for felf- 
intereft, and to do nothing myself that was 
worthy of his friendmip. You fee here the prin- 
ciples according to which I love God and my 
Redeemer. I know what God has done for me, 
and what it has coll Chrift to procure my falva- 
tipn. I know how great the bieffing is which 
J fball enjoy through him. But I am likewife 


C 18S ) 
confcions that I do, whatever I can, to ad ac- 
cording to the will of God, to rectify my fenti- 
ments, and to prepare myfelf for death in a man- 
ner which may be acceptable before God. I 
fubmit without the leaft reluctance to his will 
in regard to myfelf, becaufe I know he loves me. 
I look upon my death, and all thofe awful and 
ignominious circumflances that are to attend it, 
as things which God found neceflary for my own 
good. In the beginning of my confinement, I 
thought quite different from what I do now, even 
when I recollected that my affairs might perhaps 
turn out in the manner that they do now. I 
wifhed to fall fick and to die. I even had the 
thought of abflaining from eating and to ftarve 
myfelf to death : yet I never fhould have laid 
hands on myfelf, though I mould have had an 
opportunity for it. I now praife God heartily 
that neither of the two has taken place." 

I told him, that thefe fentiments gave me great 
fatisfaction in regard to his falvation, and that 1 
iaw now how great reafon he had to be lb calm 
and fo com poled as I found him, 

" Yes, thanks be to God, faid he, I am as 
fatisfied as a man can be who fees his greateft 
happinefs before him. I therefore humbly adore 


( i8 9 ) 

the mercy of God, and the power of religion. 
If it happens that my tranquillity is interrupted 
for fome moments, it is caufed by the wifli to be 
convinced that I have fulfilled all thofe conditions 
under which God will grant me mercy, and that 
I am fuch as God wants me to be. I therefore 
have taken the book of Spalding into my hands 
again, to fatisfy myfclf on this point." I ari- 

That I did not know of any other conditions 
of our falvation, and the Bible taught us no 
other but thefe two : an unlimited confidence 
in God through Chrift, and a zeal to think and 
to a6l always according to the will of God. 
And fince he was confcious that he believed in 
Chrift, and that he loved God, he had no reafon 
to doubt of his being pardoned before God. He 
then faid : 

" I have examined myfelf in all refpe&s I 
could think of, and I find nothing that can make 
me uneafy. If I found any thing of this kind, I 
fhould have told you of it, and have afked your 
advice. But how eafily may I have overlooked 
many things which are known to God •, and if 
fo, what will he dp ?" 


( *9<5 ) 

He will forgive you, faid I, becaufe you have 
done what you could do in thole c ire urn fiances 
you were in. We cannot raife ourfclves to per- 

We afterwards confulted and fettled how we 
fhould act to-morrow, it being the day when he 
was to die. I promifed to be with him fome 
hours before he went to the fcafFold ; for, ac- 
cording to the King's order, I dürft not go along 
with him to the place of execution ; I was to o-o 
before him, and to receive him there. 

He defired me to carry on our converfation 
to-morrow, as compofedly and as coolly as 
hitherto. He wifhed that we might finifh what 
we had to do on the fcafFold as quick as poffible, 
and that I might keep up my fpirits, that he 
might not fee me fuffer. As for himfelf, he 
fhould fay nothing there but what he thought 
abfolutely neceffary ; for he would direct his 
thoughts entirely towards God, and that eternity 
he was to enter into. 

I told him, that according to the ritual I was 
to afk him a great many queflions, but that I 
thought I had a right of ihortening them. I did 
this in his prefence, wrote the queflions down, 


( 19 1 ) 
which I was to afk him, and read them to him 

" I do not chufe, faid he, to fee my brother 
and ta take leave of him, on account of the ten- 
dernefs of our fituation. I beg therefore of you 
to do it in my name. I intreat his pardon, for 
drawing him with me into misfortunes, but I 
hope and am certain that his affairs will turn 
out well. I arTure him of my leaving this world 
with true brotherly affection for him. Tell him 
like wife of the fentiments in which I die, and 
how you find me." 

This commhTion, which was the moft tender 
and moft moving I ever had, I difchürged, by 
the leave of the commander, this very evening, 
and carried back the anfwerof the much afFJcted 

The thirty-eighth Conference. April the i%th. 

Ceding to the account of the officer who 
had the watch that night, the Count, who 
now was certainly no more an unhappy man. had 
been reading a good while the preceeding evening, 


( 19* ) 

and went to bed pretty early. He had flept for 
five or fix hours together very foundly. When 
he wakened in the morning, he had fpent a good 
while in deep meditation. He then got up, 
dreffed him (elf, and converfed with the officer 
very compofedly. 

I found him lying on a couch, dreffed as he 
intended to go to the place of execution. He 
was reading Shlegel's fermons on the fufferings 
of Chrift, and received me with his ufual ferene 
and compofed countenance. He faid : 

" I was thinking laft night whether it might 
not flrengthen me in my way to death, if I was to 
fill my fancy with agreeable images of eternity 
and future blifs. I might have ufed forthis purpofe 
Lavater's Profpefts into Eternity : but I will not 
venture to do this. I rather think it better to 
take this great ftep in cool confideration. I^ancy, 
if once put in agitation, can foon take a falfe 
turn. It could dilmifs (perhaps) at once, my 
agreeable and pleafing profpeets of eternity, and 
eagerly catch at the formidable circumftances of 
death, by which means I fear that I mould be 
unmanned. Even in going to the place of execu- 
tion, I will not indulge it, but rather employ my 


( 193 ) 
reafon in meditating on the walk of Chrift to his 
death, and apply it to myfelf." 

He then defired me, if I thought it necelfary, 
to affure his judges in his name once more, 
that what he had confeffed, was in all refpects 
the truth, and that he had not wilfully concealed 
any thing, which he himfelf or others could be 
charged with. He continued : 

" When I awoke this morning and found 
that it was daylight, my whole body was feized 
with a vehement trembling. I took directly to 
prayer, and confidered the comforts of religion. 
I prayed for the King, that God's wifdom and 
mercy might guide him, and that he perfonally 
might be perfectly happy. I foon recovered 
my fpirits again. I am now calm and com- 
pofed, and I am fure I mail remain fo. Why 
mould I make myfelf uneafy, when I am fully 
convinced of my falvation ? God has forgiven 
me my fins, and even thofe which I do not re- 
member ; he has pardoned me for thofe things 
which he ftill diflikes in me, and which I by Mf- 
examination could not difcover, and therefore 
could not reform. God can not forgive vice in 
general, without doing the fame in every parti- 
cular fpecies of vice. The remembrance of the 
O fufferings 

( '94 ) 

fufferings of Chrift, who has fatisfied God for 
all men, afiiire me of this. And fince I am fo 
certain of my falvation, I do not dread death. 
Fear of death would be inconfiftent tinder cir- 
eumftances fo full of a happy eternity. Befides, I 
cannot complain that my fate is too hard. I 
know that I deferve this and ftill more. But, 
" who mall lay any thing to the charge of God's 

elect ? — Who is he that condemneth ?" 


I took the opportunity he gave me, to explain 
to him the whole eighth chapter of St. Paul to 
the Romans : There were fo many beautiful 
paffages which were excellently well adapted to 
his former and his prefent fituation. The molt 
vifible calmnefs was to be obferved in his whole 
countenance •, and he frequently prevented my 
going on, by falling into the fame obfervations 
I was juft going to make in order to ftrengthen 
his faith. 

He now afked me: " How far am I per- 
mitted to keep up my fortitude by natural 
means ? For inftance : by endeavouring to retain 
prefence of mind, and not to permit myfelf to be 
carried away by .imagination and fancy." I 


( *95 ) 
If God has given you a certain ftrength of foul, 
it is his will that you mall make ufe of it, in 
thofe moments when you ftand moll in need of 
it. But no inward pride or any ill-founded com- 
placency is to interfere. You are to do nothing 
merely for the fake of being applauded by the 
lpectators on account of your refolution and com- 
pofure. You are to be above fuch things. God 
loves fincerity, which confifls in fhewing our- 
felves outwardly as we are inwardly. Shew 
yourfelf therefore exactly in the manner as you 
feel yourfelf within. If you even fhould be fo 
much affected as to med tears, do not hide them, 
and do not be afhamed of them ; for they are no 
difhonour to you. You cannot conceal from 
yourfelf, even unto the very laft moment of your 
life, why you are to die. You would do wrong* 
and offend true chriftians, if you were to die with 
a chearfulnefs, which can only fall to the fhare 
of thofe that furfer for the fake of truth and 
virtue. I wifh to fee you on the fcaffold with 
vifible figns of repentance and forrow, but at 
the fame time with a peace of mind which arifes 
from a confidence of being pardoned before God. 
I mould even diflike to fee you conceal the na- 
tural fear of death. He faid : 

" I am certainly not inclined to make any fliew 

before men. Nothing can be now more intc- 

O 2 reftino- 

( *9 6 ) 
reding to me than to pleafe God, and to conquer 
the terrors of death. If I mould force myfelf to 
appear outwardly different from v/hat I am within, 
it would happen to me what happens to a man, 
who is to fpeak to an eminent peribn, and has 
well confidered every thing he is going to fay, 
but now begins to flammer, and, by endeavour- 
ing to prevent this, becomes quite fpeechlefs. 
I fhall, as much as lies in my power, direct my 
thoughts towards God, and not difturb myfelf 
by Undying to fatisfy the expectation of the 
fpectatofs. Therefore I ßiaj] fay nothing on the 
fcaffold, but what you yourfelf fhall give me 
•occafion for." 

I aflure you, faid' I, I mail give you very few 
opportunities for it ; the fcaffold is neither for 
you nor for nie the place for fpeaking much. 
When you are there, it will be your bufinefs to 
ftrenothen your thoughts as much as poffible, 
forgetting thole things which are behind, and 
reaching forth unto thole things which are before. 

" Now, faid he, iince I am fo near death, I find 
how neceflary and how beneficial to men the pofi- 
tive afiertion of Chrift is of the exigence of eter- 
nity. If I was not fure of this, mere reafon 
would give me but little fatisfaction upon this 
queltion : Whether a few hours hence any thing 


( i97 ) 

would be left of me that retained its life ? — I can 
likewife tell you, from my prefent experience, 
that a bad confcience is worfe than death. I now 
find comfort againft: death, but as long as the 
former lafted, I had no peace within me. I be- 
lieve that I mould have become quite hardened, 
if this wound had not been healed." 

" I believe you have obferved, that I would 
not let thofe feniations which were produced by 
my certainty of being pardoned before God, 
grow very lively. They might have hindered 
me in my ftudying to reform my heart, and in 
examining myfelf. But now I enjoy the comfort 
of being confcious to have done what I could to 
pleafe God." 

In the abovementioned letter to the chamber- 
lain de Brandt, he had faid that he had become 
innocently the caufe of his brother's misfortunes. 
He defired me to explain thefe words to him : 
" That he, with a ecod intention, had brought 
his friend Brandt to Copenhagen, and had kept 
him from withdrawing himfelf when he had a good 
opportunity for it." 

Now the door of the prifon opened, for which 

the Count himfelf never, but I very often, had 

looked with a fearful expectation. — An officer 

O 3 came 

( 198 ) 
came in, and defired me, if I pleafed, to ftep 
into the coach, and to go before the Count to 
the place of execution. I was much moved and 
affected. The Count, as if it did not concern 
him in the leafb, comforted me by faying : 

* c Make yourfelf eafy, my dear friend, by con- 
fidering the happinefs I am going to enter into, 
and with the confcioufnefs that God has made 
you a means of procuring it for me." 

I embraced him, recommending him to the 
love and mercy of God, and haflened to the 
place of execution. 

He being foon called after me, got up from 
his couch, and followed thofe which were to con- 
duel him. Coming out of the prifon and getting 
into the coach, he bowed to thofe that were 
Handing around. Upon the way to the place of 
execution, he partly fpoke to the officer who was 
with him in the coach, partly fat in deep medi- 

As foon as both the condemned were arrived in 
their refpective coaches near the fcaffold, and 
Count Brandt had mounted it firft, I got into 
the coach of Struenfee, and ordered the coach- 
man to turn about, to prevent his having the 
profpecl of the fcaffold. 

" I have 

( '99 ) 

" I have Teen him already,'* faid he. I could 
not recollect myfelf fo foon, and he finding my 
uneafinefs, faid, with a fmiling countenance, 
" Pray do not mind me. I fee you fuffer. Re- 
member that God has made you an inftrument 
in my converfion. I can imagine how pleaflng 
it muft be to you to be confcious of this. I fhall 
praife God with you in eternity that you have 
faved my foul." 

I was ft ill more affected than before, and faid, 
that I mould look upon this tranfaction of mine 
as the mod remarkable one during my whole life, 
fince God had bleffed it with fo felf-rewarding 
a fuccefs. It was a pleafing thought to me, that 
we Ihould continue our friendship in a future 
world.— I fnould have comforted him, but he, 
in this cafe, comforted me. He defired me then 
to remember him to feveral of his acquaintance, 
and to tell fome of them, that if he, by his con- 
vention and actions, had milled them in their 
notions of virtue ^and religion, he, as a dying 
man, acknowledged the injury he had done, 
begged them to efface thefe impreffions, and to 
forgive him. 

After fome filence on both fides, he afked me: 
" Suppofe God, fince he knows all things, 
ihould fee that in cafe I had lived longer, I Ihould 

O 4 not 

{ 200 ) 

not have kept faithfully to my prefent principles 
and fentiments -, could that have any influence 
upon that judgment which I mall foon receive ?" 
I anfwered, 

God judges by actions that are committed, 
not by thofe that are not. He judges men ac- 
cording as he finds them when they leave this 
world. He is love itfelf, and has no pleafure in 
the death of him that dieth. He certainly will 
not condemn any one who dies in fulfilling 
thofe conditions under which he has prcmifed 
his pardon. He then continued : 

" It is true, I returned late to God, but I know 
that he who is from eternity, cares not for the 
length or fhortnefs of time in which man has en- 
deavoured to pieafe him. Our Saviour fays, 
without determining any thing relative to this 
matter, " He that comes to me, I will in no wife 
caft out •," I therefore will make myfelf eafy that 
I have kept fo long from God and virtue." 

On feeing the great number of fpectators, I 
told him, that among thefe thoufands, were 
many that would pray to God to have mercy 
upon him. 

" I hope fo, faid he, and trie thought pleafes 
me." He foon after added : 

i " It 

C 20 1 ) 

" It is a folemn fight to fee fo many thou- 
fands of people together; but what are thefe 
thoufands, when compared with the whole fum 
of all God's creatures, 'and how very little ap- 
pears one fingle man in fuch a comparifon ? 
Neverthelefs God loves every individual man fo 
much, that he has procured his falvation by fa- 
crifking his own fon. What a love is this ! 

" You fee me, continued he, outwardly, the 
fame as I find myfelf within." And I perceived, all 
the while I was fitting with him in the coach, no 
alteration, but that he was pale, and that it was 
more difficult for him to think and to converle 
than it was fome days before, or even this very 
morning. However, he had his full prefence of 
mind, knew feveral of thofe that flood about the 
coach, bowed to many by pulling off his hat, 
and to fome he bowed with a friendly mien. 

" My eafe, faid he, is not a forced one. I 
cannot recollect any caufe from which this eafe 
arifes, that could difpleafe God. I am not am- 
bitious to gain the applaufe of men, and I do 
not promife that I fhall not fhew any uneafinefs 
upon the fcaffold. I now have difagreeable fen- 
fations, and I fhall have more there, which I will 
not endeavour to conceal. But you may be 
afiured, that my foul will look with calmnefs 


( 202 ) 

and hope beyond death. And how little is that 
which I am going to fuffer, when I compare it 
with the fufferings Chrift bore when he died. 
Recollect only his words : " My God, my God, 
why haft thou forfaken me?" and conftder, what 
fxcruciating pain it muft have caufed him. o 
hang for feveral hours on the crofs beföpe he 
died !" 

I exhorted him again not to fhew any affected 
fortitude in thefe Jail moments which was not 
natural to him. Such affectations would cer- 
tainly difpleafe God, and if he now ftill would 
mind what the fpectators might think, J muft tell 
him, that only a few fhort-fighted people would 
believe his affected firmnefs to be true, 

I then faid : Chrift prayed for his murderers 
even on the cröis. May I rely upon your leaving 
this world with the fame fentiments of love to- 
wards thofe you might have reafon to think your 
enemies ? 

" Firfl, faid he, I hope that there is no one 
who has a perfonal hatred againft me ; but that 
thofe who have promoted my misfortunes, have 
done it with an intent of doing good. Secondly, 
I look upon myfelf already as a citizen of ano- 
2. ther 

( 203 ) 

ther world, and that I am obliged to entertain 
fentiments conformable to this dignity : and I am 
fure, that if I was to fee thofe, who might per- 
haps be my enemies, here v in the blifs of that 
world which I hope to enter into, it would give 
me the highefl fatisfaction. I pray to God that 
if my enemies might repent of their behaviour 
towards me, this repentance may induce them to 
look out for that falvation which I promife my- 
felf through the mercy of God." 

Though I could not fee the fcaffold, yet I 
guefTed, from the motion of the fpectators, that 
it was Struenfee's turn to mount it. I en- 
deavoured to prepare him for it by a fhort 
prayer, and within a few moments we were 
called. He paffed with decency and humble- 
nefs through the fpectators, and bowed to fome 
of them. With fome difficulty he mounted the 
ftairs. When we came up, I fpoke very con- 
cifely, and with a low voice, upon theie words 
gf Chrift : " He that believeth in me, though 
he were dead, yet fhall he live. 5 ' It would have 
been impofiible for me to fpeak much and loud, 
even if I had attempted it. 

I obferve here that he fhewed not the lead 
affectation in his conduct upon the fcaffbld : • I 


( 204 ; 

found him to be one who knew that he was 
to die, on account of his crimes, by the hands of 
the executioner. Pie was pale, it was difficult 
for him to fpeak, the fear of death was vifible in 
his whole countenance ; but at the fame time, 
fubmifiion, calmnefs and hope were expreffed in 
his air and deportment. 

His fentence, and afterwards the King's con- 
firmation of it, ' were read to him ; his coat 
of arms was publickly ihewn and broken to 
pieces. During the time that his chains were 
taking off, I put the following queftions to him : 
Are you truly forry for ail thofe actions by 
which you have offended God and men ? 

" You know my late fentiments on this point, 
and I afTure you they are this very moment {till 
the fame." 

Do yon trufl in the redemption of Chrift, as 
the only ground of your being pardoned before 
God ? 

" I know no other means of receiving God's 
mercy, and I traft in this alone." 

Do you leave this world without hatred or 
malice againft any perfon whatever ? 

" I hope 

( 20 5 ) 

" I hope nobody hates me perfonally ; and as 
for the reft, you know my fentiments on this 
head, they are the fame as I told you jufl before." 

I then laid my hand upon his head, faying : 
Then go in peace whither God calls you ! His 
grace be with you ! 

He then began to undrefs, and enquired of 
the executioners how far he v/as to uncover him- 
felf, and defired them to aflifb him. He then 
haftened towards the block, that was ftained and 
ftill reeking with the blood of his friend, laid 
himfelf quickly down, and endeavoured to fit 
his neck and chin properly into it. When his 
hand was cut off, his whole body fell into con- 
vulfions. The very moment when the execu- 
tioner lifted up the axe to cut off his hand, I 
began to pronounce (lowly the words ; '• Re- 
member Jefus Chriil crucified, who died, but is 
rifen again.'* Before I had finifhed thefe words, 
both hand and head, fevered from the body, lay 
before my feet. 

# # # # # * 

How wonderful is God, and how great his 
care for the falvation of men, that are ftill ca- 
pable of being faved ! But how different is the 
judgment we are to pronounce over fuch men, 


C 206 ) 

according to the principles of the kingdom of 
God, from that which the world pronounces ! 
If Count Struenfee had remained in his former 
profperity, and died a natural death, he might 
have been called a great and enlightened man 
through all ages, even if he had been at the bottom 
the greateft villain. The world has feen him die a 
malefactor ; but the difpofition in which he left 
the world, will be alufficient inducement for true 
chriftians to forgive him the ignominy where- 
with he had flained his life, and to praife God 
that he died well. 



How he came to alter his Sentiments of 


( 2IO ) 

againft it. You know how indifferent that common 
inftruction in religion is, which is given in public 
fchools : yet I was to blame not to have made ufe of 
the private inftru&ions and example of my parents. 
Since my fourteenth year, all my time was taken 
up in ftudying phyfic. If I afterwards fpent 
much time in reading other books, it was only 
to divert myfelf, and to extend my knowledge of 
thole fciences by means of which I hoped to make 
my fortune. The violence of the paffions which 
made me abandon myfelf in my youth to all 
'eniual pleafures and extravagancies, left me 
fcarce time to think of morality, much lefs of 

When experience afterwards taught me how 
little fatisfaction was to be found in the irregu- 
lar enjoyment of fuch pleafures, and reflection 
convinced me that a certain inward fatisfaftion 
was requifite for my happinefs, fuch as cannot 
be attained either by the obfervance of parti- 
cular duties, or by the omifllon of fcandalous 
excelTes : I therefore endeavoured to imprint in 
my mind fuch principles as I judged proper to 
govern my actions, and which I thought would 
anfwer the end I had in view. But how did I 
undertake this talk? My memory was filled up 
with moral principles, but at the fame time, I 


C 211 ) 

had various excufes to reconcile a complying 
reafon with the weaknefTes and the infirmities of 
the human heart. My understanding was pre- 
pofleffed with doubts and difficulties, againft the 
infallibility of thofe means by which we arrive 
at truth and certainty. My will was (if not 
fully determined, yet) fecretly much inclined to 
comply only with fuch duties, as did not lay me 
under the necefilty of facrificing my favourite 
inclinations. Thefe were my guides in my re-> 

I took it for granted, that in matters merely 
relative to the happinefs of man, neither a deep 
understanding nor wit or learning were required 3 
but our own experience and ideas only, of 
which every one muft be confcious^ were fufficient 
to find out the truth. The neceflity of avoiding 
all difagreeable fenfations of pain,' of ficknefs, 
of reproaches, as well our own as thofe of 
others, made me think that an exact obfervation 
of duties towards myfelf and my neighbour, 
were of the greateft confequence. However, 
I believed, from the confideration of God and 
the nature of man, that there were no particular 
obligations towards the fupreme Being, befides 
thofe which are derived from the admiration of 
P 2 his 

( 212 ) 

his greatnefs and the general gratitude on ac- 
count of our exiftence. The a6tions of man, 
as far as they are determined by notions pro- 
duced by natural inftincts, by agreeable or dif- 
agreeable impreffions of external objects, of 
education, of cuftom, and the different circum- 
ftances he is in, appear to me to be fuch, as 
could in particular inftances neither pleafe 
nor difpleafe God, any more than the different 
events in nature, which are founded in its eternal 
laws. I was fatisfied in obferving that general 
as well as particular inftances, tended to one 
point, namely the prefervation of the whole ; 
and this alone was what I thought worthy of 
the care of a fupreme Being. My attention 
therefore was chiefly fixed upon the duties I 
owed to my neighbours. The obfervance of 
which would as well promote my outward 
happinefs, as give me inward fatisfaclion. 

The defire which every one feels to be vir- 
lüOÜI, and a natural inclination for actions ufe- 
ful in fbcicty, induced me to ufe my utmoft en- 
deavours to acquire a habit of virtue. But how 
could I find out true virtue, as I did not feek 
for it, where it was only to be found ? What 
a difference is there in the opinions of philofo- 


( 213 ) 

phers about its nature and its motives ; how con- 
tradicting is the judgment of men on account of 
the effects it produces in particular cafes ! Yet 
thefe were to determine my method of acting, 
even if God did not judge me, and I iliould 
refign myfelf up to my conicience, which is fo 
cafily milled, fo often overpowered by paflions, 
and lb frequently not to be heard at all. I 
found at leaft, how eafy it was to deceive our- 
felves in regard to our fentiments, though they 
were entirely left to our own judgment. I found 
on the other fide many that were well Inclined, 
though they were quite inactive. Thefe and 
other reflections induced me to think, that vir- 
tue confuted in nothing elfe, but in actions 
which are ufeful to fociety, and in a defire of 
producing them. — Ambition, love of our native 
country, natural inclination to what is good, a 
well regulated felf-love, or even the knowledge 
of religion, when they are confidered as motives 
of virtu", I looked upon as indifferent things, 
according as they happened to make different 
impreflions upon particular perfons. — Reafon 
and reflection were, in my opinion, the 
only teachers and regulators of virtue. He is 
to be counted the moil virtuous whofe actions 
are the moft ufeful, the moft: difficult to be 
practifed, and of the moft extenfive influence ; 
P 3 and 

( 214 ) 

and no one could be blamed who obferved the 
laws of his country, and the true principles of 

I thought I had found in the nature of man 
fufficient powers and fprings to make him vir- 
tuous. Revealed religion I looked upon as un- 
neceflary, fince it could only convince men, 
whole understandings were lefs enlightened, of the 
obligations of virtue. The effects of religion I 
never had perceived within me, at leaft I never 
had regarded them. Its doctrines feemed to 
contradict all the reft of my notions. Its morals 
appeared to me too fevere, and I believed I 
found them full as clear, perfect and ufeful in 
the writings of phiiofophers. If you add to 
this, the following doubts: Religion is known 
but among a fmall part of mankind, — it makes 
very little impreffion upon the mind, — its abufe 
has produced a great many fatal confequences, — 
few of thofe that know it, act agreeably to its» 
precepts, — but very little hope there is of a 
future life, — God's mercy will forgive the faults 
of error and precipitation, — the nature of man 
contradicts the precepts of religion and oppofes 
them : — and you will eafily imagine what infer- 
ences I drew from thence. 


C 215 ) 

Reafon guided by understanding, fupported 
by ambition, felf-love, and a natural inclination 
to what is good, became now the principles 
which determined my actions. To how many 
errors and miftakes was I expofed ! I found it 
not difficult to excufe my favourite paflions, 
and give myfelf up entirely to the gratification 
of them. The indulgence of my fenfual defires 
appeared to me, at the moft, to be only weak- 
nefs, if they were not attended with bad 
confequences either to myfelf or to others, and 
this could be prevented by prudence and circum- 
fpeclion. I found- that many who pretended to 
honour and virtue, yet indulged them, and ex- 
cufed them. The manners of the times permit- 
ted filently liberties which were condemned 
only by the too rigid moralift, but were treated 
with more indulgence and tendernefs by thofe, 
that are acquainted with the human heart. Con- 
tinence was in my eyes a virtue produced by 
prejudice. Whole nations fubfifted without 
knowing or pracYifing this virtue. 

It is very humiliating to me, my dear friend, 
to repeat to you thefe falfe excufes, which ap- 
pear to me at prefent highly abfurd. However, 
they will be found adopted by all thofe, that act 
pot quite thoughtlefly, but attempt to apologize 
P 4 by 

( 216 ) 

by arguments for the irregularity of their life. 
How eafy is it in this manner to palliate and to juflify 
the indulgence of every one of our paftions ? The 
ambitious man finds in all that he does patriotifm 
and a laudable ambition; the felf-conceited a noble 
pride, founded upon merit, and a juflice which 
he owes to himfelf ; the flanderer a love of truth, 
and innocent mirth, &c. 

I hoped to efcape thofe errors by an accurate 
felf-examination, and an enquiry into the con- 
fequences of my actions. But how was I able to 
do this, were it pofiible to anfwer only for their 
mod immediate coniequences ? Did I not 
deceive myfelf, in believing that I had the 
ftrongeft intentions of doing good, and did really 
as much as I was able to do ? Was it infatua- 
tion, infenfibility and affectation, when I Mat- 
tered myfelf to find, firmnefs and tranquillity in 
my prefent misfortunes ? When I fearched into 
the caufes of them, I confidered only the poli- 
tical ones, and how much could I find to excufe- 
myfelf, if I did but confider the nature of my 
fituation, and the accidents it was fubject to ? I 
had but a confufed idea of my moral principles, 
and I could not reject them, without depriv- 
ing myfelf of all comfort. My expecta- 
tions of futurity I before told you : and 


C 217 ) 

by diffipating my thoughts and directing them to 
other fubjefts, I could more eafily bear my mii- 
fortunes, and fupport my natural difpofition, as 
the impreflion, an object makes upon our mind, 
grows ftronger by conftantly reflecting upon 

In this condition, my dear friend, you found 
me, and we began our Conferences. You re- 
member how much I thought myfelf convinced 
of my principles, how flrongly they were im- 
printed on my mind, and how much I guarded 
againft every paffion that could rife within me. 
However, I found it but juft to enquire into a 
matter that concerned my happinefs, and which 
might be of fuch confequence with regard to 
futurity. An opinion, where the greateit proba- 
bility amounts to certainty, receives ftill greater 
by examining that which is oppofite to it. And 
to anfwer the objections which can be made 
againft it, requires at leaf! as much attention 
from us, as we beftowed upon the examination 
of the arguments which induced us to embrace 

Upon confidering my moral principles, I be- 
gan immediately to doubt, whether they might 
not have been the caufe of my miftaking what I 
1 chiefly 

( 21.8 ) 

chiefly aimed at, namely, the inward fatisfaction 
of my actions. I was very fenfible, how much 
I deferved the reproaches of my own mine} 
as well as thofe of others, if it was only on ac- 
count of my unhappy friends, whofe misfortunes 
greatly affected me. Might it not have been 
better, to have judged of my actions more by 
thinking from whence they arofe, than to what 
they related, and what their confequences were ? 
How few would my plcafures have been, and 
how little would my life have been ! However, 
I fhould now have lefs neceflity for repentance 
and contrition, though before I muft have had 
greater conflicts and ftrnggles with myfelf. The 
times of my fufTering are only altered. If the 
ßrft had taken place, my troubles would have 
been fhorter, but now, I feel an uniform and 
continued feries of difagreeable fenfations. I 
then fhould have fuffered only myfelf. — And 
•what fatisfaction have I received of ail which for- 
tune feemed to promife me ? My pafllons were 
perhaps gratified, but in fuch a manner as al- 
ways left a void after them. My wifnes were 
fatisfied, but the anxiety I was under to preferve 
my pofleiTions, took away the greateft part of 
their pleafure. I enjoyed a variety of pleaiures, 
which by their nature deftroy one another, and 
are at the moil nothing more than diflipations, 
2 I grew 

( 2i 9 ) 

I grew at laft infenfible to the pleafures of life, 
which is the natural coniequence of being in 
poffeflion of every thing which can render life 
eafy and agreeable. I did not enjoy the comforts 
of friendship and fociety, as the fituation I was 
in was extremely difilpated, and it required at- 
tention to a hundred trifles; befides, the impcf- 
fibility of diverting my thoughts from the little 
dependance I could place on it, would not 
admit of any real fatisfaction. Suppofing too, 
that I even had good intentions, and the lawful 
means of putting them into practice, and that 
my faults were only the confequences of inat- 
tention and natural weaknefs, I mould lofe all 
the comforts I might derive from the former, by 
reproaching myfelf on account of the latter. I 
might have avoided them, by recollecting all 
their confequences, according to their different 
relations. However, even this was impoffible 
when my paflions reprefented to me the danger 
my own happinefs and that of others was in, and 
the impofiibility of providing againfl confe- 
quences which were then at a diftance. 
When my paffions and my reafon were in op- 
pofition, and the underftanding was to decide, I 
might have been always inclined in favour of 
that fide where the pleafure feemed neareft, and 


( 220 ) 

pain at the greateft diftance. Ambition and felf- 
love, and the influence our aftions have upon one 
another are eafily explained, and in their appli- 
cation, found fufficient to anfwer their purpofes. 
I could not now deny but that my principles 
were not capable of procuring me moral tran- 
quillity, that my paflions had been the chief 
iprings of all my actions, and that no other 
comfort remained for me, but that which is 
derived from the inconftancy of human affairs. 
I might be indebted to my principles for my 
fuccefs in life, and my activity : but I muft 
reject them, if they induced me to commit an 
action which deferves reproaches, and which 
dcftroys my inward happinefs. 

I was ready to give up my former principles 
as foon as I could difcover better. I faw that 
they were liable to two objections. My way 
of judging of the morality of my actions from 
their relations and coniequences, was neither fafe 
nor certain. My arguments in favour of 
virtue, might be equally applicable to juftify 
the gratification of my paflions, as to con- 
troul them. They were not fufficiently 
ftrong in their effects, and were alfo liable to be 
mifinterpreted, when my paflions became too 
impetuous, Confcience, the inward fenfe of 


( 221 ) 

what is good or bad, and the fear of God, feemed 
not to obviate this difficulty. I found fufficient 
reafons to dilallow them, and my fenfuality 
would not permit me to feel their impreffion. 
Should thefe have taught me how to ad with 
propriety and juftice in all circum'tances, and to 
make mylelf eafy, though the confequences, 
the opinion of men, and the reproaches of my 
friends had been againft me ? No doubt. But 
then -my actions fhould have been derived from 
my fentiments, and thefe mould havo had a cer- 
tain fixed rule to direct them, to prevent me 
from falling into error. 


I perceived my miftake, that I had placed vir- 
tue in actions only, without regard to their inten- 
tions, and by this I had loft what I was perfu- 
ing, inward contentment. Geliert fhewed me 
the means by which I might have avoided it. 
Jerufalem convinced me what ftrength and af- 
fiftance true devotion furnifhes us with. Rei- 
marus removed the doubts I had, that God did 
not concern himfelf with the moral actions of 
men. I will not repeat the feries of meditations, 
which convinced me of the truth of what thefe 
excellent writers teach us. I fhall only repeat a 


( 222 ) 

few of them, and thofe only which made the" 
ftrongeft imprefilon upon me. 

Was it not the love of fenfual pleafures, which 
made me deny that truth, which my reafon 
afifented to, and reprefented other objects and 
falfe notions as matters of confequence? — Is 
there more fafety and wifdom, where I find 
fimple principles, which may be practifed with 
clearnefs in all cafes without exception, or there, 
where the variety of opinions, and the conditions 
which are innumerable, require more time for 
enquiring than action ? If the moral diftinction 
between virtue and vice, is not to be founded on 
the intentions, none can pretend to virtue* at 
leaft, it does not depend upon our own will-. 
The prudent, the cautious, the crafty, the hy- 
pocrite mail then be virtuous •, the fimple, the 
carelefs, the unhappy, the fincere mail then be 
called wicked. My inward fatisfaction will de- 
pend on the opinion of others and on accidents, 
if I cannot judge of my intentions by fome fixed 

It is a very narrow notion to think that trie 
univerfe taken together, is only worth the atten- 
tion of the fuprerne Being. We know that 


( 223 ) 

knowledge and a combination of many parti- 
cular events and operating caufes, which all tend 
to one end, produce actions of the greateft moral 
confequence to fociety. It is beyond man's 
capacity to reprefent to his mind thefe things at 
once. He lofes the fight of the whole, by ex- 
amining the parts feparately. Fie is therefore 
obliged to fix his attention only upon thofe 
caufes which are neareft and mod fenfible in 
their effects. Thofe which are more remote 
he mud leave to chance, or which is the fame 
thing, he mull fuppofe, that they will not fail of 
their end, though they are not in his power. 
But let us go further. He that views the moft 
remote poffible event at one view, and knows 
how to direct every one of them to anfwer his 
particular defign, and to remove with the 
greateft facility the obltacles which are in his 
way, deferves undoubtedly the name of a 
great man. The more regularity and harmony 
he can give to every part, the more can he de- 
pend upon the event. It muft be difpleafing, if 
he cannot effect this. The faults of fmgle fol- 
diers cannot be pleafing to a good general in 
time of action if he perceives them, and he needs 
mult difcover them. Many little irregularities 
render the whole imperfect. We overlook 
them, becaufe our abilities will not permit us to 


( 224 ) 

do otherwiie, and we are ufed to defpife what we 
cannot attain to for want of power. But it is 
abfurd to apply this manner of reafonino- to 
God, and to believe that he follows cur example, 
and takes care of the whole without attending to 
particular imperfections. That pofition : God 
has regulated the whole in fuch a manner, that 
the particular irregularities of men are of no 
confequence, and therefore indifferent to him, 
is founded upon this principle ; that man acts 
always according to a fatal necefllty. God 
therefore will certainly obferve, how far every 
individual acts by his free-will confiftently with 
his determination. Univerfal happinefs cannot 
take place unlefs every one contributes towards 

It is no argument, that God has difpenfed fuch 
a number of good things in nature, and the 
inftincts of man are fo various, that every one 
may be happy. Others generally fuffer and 
are made uneafy when our pofTefiions encreafe, 
and our enjoyments are great. Therefore the 
defire of encreafing our happinefs in this manner, 
is inconfiftent with our determination. The in- 
creafe of our moral perfections can take place 
without detriment and for the benefit of the 
whole. The fmalleft tranfgrefr.on in this relpect 


t 225 ) 

mufl: be difpleafing to God. What äpologleä 
can we make ? Perhaps fuch as a courtier makes 
when he deceives his mailer to ferve his friend, 
or a minuter of ilate when he lofes fight of 
the public good to ferve his own private in- 

It is owing to pride and prejudice in favour 
of our own internal ftrength, when we hope to 
be virtuous through our own powers. We com- 
monly perceive in objects before us what we 
want to fee. It is impofiible to have all thofe 
ideas prefent in our mind which are required 
to drawjuft conclufions. We find thofe foonell 
which anfwer our purpofes. The cool philofo- 
phcr finds frequently that to be falfe, which he 
took for granted before he begun his inquiries. 
And fince all this is moil certain, how eafy mufl 
it be for us to convince ourfelves, how uncertain 
our way of reafoning is, when it concerns things 
which we earneftly de fire, and when the queflion 
is, whether we mail allow or refufe ourfelves 
the enjoyment of them. A lively impreflion, 
which prefents us with the arguments ori 
both fides, is the only means to keep us from 

Q How 

( 226 ) 

How many difagreeable moments did thefe 
reflexions caufe me! They were fufficient to 
convince me how much I had erred from what 
I was ftriving for; how little I had acted ac- 
cording to the true end of my nature, and how 
much I was to blame. I felt with pain, that I 
had followed falfe principles and narrow pre- 
judices. You know, how much I was con- 
cerned for the misfortune of thofe perfons with 
whom I had been connected. Nothing was now 
left me, but to endeavour to lefTen the uneafinefs 
I felt, fince I found myfelf the only caufe of it. 
But my pain became more violent, whenever I 
confidered my fituation from that fide, where it 
made the greateft impreffion upon me. The 
many confequencesof my vices, and the thoughts 
that I had offended God, mod deeply affected 

However, my former turn of thought made 
me miftruft, whether my prefent fentiments 
were not perhaps more a confequence of my pre- 
fent fituation of mind, than of the conviction of 
my underftanding. The uncertainty I was under 
concerning the nature of my foul and its im- 
mortality, prevented me from giving my full 
affent. Bonnet anfwered all my doubts as far as 
mere reafon can arrive at any certainty. I could 


( 227 ) 

not deny that my prefent difpofition of mind, if I 
compared it with a former one, was better adapted 
to enquire after truth and to find it out. Before, 
I ufed to pafs over every thing which oppofed my 
paffions, and found good what they defired : 
but I was now more inclined to be cautious and 
miftruftful, and it is a great thing to acknow- 
ledge our faults. The more I confidered my 
former doubts, the lefs reafon I had to think 
them to be of any confequence. I examined every 
particular argument in favour of my former 
opinion : but at laft I was obliged to own with 
Geliert, that if all that we know from reafon, 
of God, of our foul, and our moral happinefs 
was uncertain, truth muft be folly, and error 
mull be wifdom. 

You know, my dear friend, how much thefe 
truths increafed my uneafinefs : I faw continually 
new obje&s, which hitherto had remained undif- 
covered, on account of the livelinefs of the firft 
impreflions. The indifference I had to any fixed 
principles, my neglect of every fingle obligation» 
my remifihefs in doing good, when I had oppor- 
tunity or abilities for it, the mifchief which my 
example, and the propagating of my principles 
might do, the difpleafure of God which my 
tranfgrefiions muft draw upon me ; all thefe cir- 
Q^2 cumftance* 

( 228 ) 

cumftances united produced in me the greateft 
-anxiety. And how could I leflfen the anxiety iuch 
reflexions occafioned me ? I took the refolution 
to act according to that truth which I had found. 
I had a lively fenfe of my former tranfgreffions, 
but from whence could I derive the hopes of re- 
pairing what was done, or burying it in oblivion ? 
It is uncertain whether good intentions will al- 
ways be equally flrong \ perhaps new inticements 
and the errors of my understanding may over- 
power them. The thought which is directed to- 
wards God, the fentiments, confcience, and the 
recollection of its reproaches can be weakened. 
Virtue cannot prevent vice from being hurtful, 
much lefs can it repair the damage which is done. 
Time, opportunities and former Situations were 
loft to me, and but little comfort was left me from 
this view. When I reflected on the idea which 
reafon afforded me of God, I had but little hopes 
to flatter mylelf that my fins would be forgiven. 
If I attempted to form the moft favourable idea 
of God's mercy, that he would confider the weak- 
nefs and imperfection of human nature, I fa w at the 
fame time his jufticeand immutability, which were 
directly contrary to this idea. The confequences 
of actions happen in the moral world as they do 
in the natural, according to certain fixed rules. 
To thefe fettled laws God leaves the fate of man, 


( 22 9 ) 

end his fate depends >.ipon himfelf, fince he ac"ls 
with liberty. Experience teaches us Efficiently that 
no exception is to be made to this rule. Every 
crime and every tranfgreflion carries its punifh- 
ment along with it. Perhaps no inftance can be 
produced which would not convince us of the 
truth of this affertion, if we eftimate man's hap- 
pinefs according to what he feels within himfelf, 
and not according to the general notions we have 
of good fortune. The irregularity and variety of 
our paßions are evils, and the painful confeiouf- 
nefs of the crimes we have committed never 
leaves us. Will God produce good out of evil, 
to remove the misfortunes which our fins brought 
upon us, and which are a proof of his difplea- 
fure ? 

Of thefe truths I always have been convinced, 
but I looked upon them as neceffary evils con- 
nected with our fate, which would ceafe with this 
life, even if they could be called a kind of pu- 
nimment. I could diminifh the lively impreflion 
of thefe evils by a firmnefs of foul, by coolnefs 
of mind acquired by practice, and a contem- 
plation of the evils themfelves, without fancying 
them greater than they really are. Patience, I 
fancied, might make us indifferent about them, 
and difiipation make us entirely forget them. 

Q. 3 Su P- 

( 230 ) 

Supported by thefe confiderations, I fubmitted 
to my misfortunes, fince I could not avoid them, 
and they appeared to me in this light lefs terrible. 
We are apt to fuppofe an old erroneous tenet to 
be true, as we are apt to believe an often repeated 
falihood. That hope which makes death the end 
of all our misfortunes, requires the greateft firm- 
nefs and indifference to fupport it. You know 
thofe reafbns which ferve to infpire us with com- 
fort in regard to a future life, agreeably to my 
former principles, and confidering eternity in the 
view I did. However, the uncertainty of all this 
•would have cccafioned the greateft uneafinefs, 
even at a time when I mould not have been diffi- 
dent of my own ftrength. 

The continuation of my moral enquiries did 
not decreafe this. Remembrance will be an 
efTential matter, whereby my future ftate is to be 
connected with my prefent one. How fhould I 
obliterate the memory of thefe reproaches which 
torment me now ? how mould I regulate my 
fentiments ? Every thing renewed the confeiouf- 
nefs of my former reproaches, and I was fo ac- 
cuftomed to my way of thinking, that it would, 
perhaps, be ftill more difficult to leave it, than 
any other cuftom I have been ufed to. I found 
this to be the fact j for my underftanding, 
5 though 

t 231 ) 

though convinced, yet thought, doubted, apolo- 
gized, and faw a poflibility of my not being in 
the wrong. The repeating of thofe reflexions 
which had fhewn me my errors, brought me 
back to truth : however, I could not arrive at 
anv certainty in regard to a future life, and the 
confequences of my tranfgrefllons with refpect 
to the Deity. The truths of revealed reli- 
gion did not yet make any imprefiion upon my 

You gave me the Hiftory of the three laft 
Years of the Life of Chrift ; I read it, and how 
excellent did I find the doctrines it contained ! 
Its moral principles are fimple, clear, and 
adapted to every fituation in life. Whoever 
knows how difficult it is to reduce a fcience to 
general principles, cannot obferve this without 
furprize, even if he confiders Chrift only as a mere 
man. I was alhamed to find here again what I 
formerly had forgot, and afterwards believed it to 
be owing to feveral books of morality I had read. 
I was convinced that the fpirit of revenge was 
wrong, but I did "not remember that Chrift had 
ever forbid it. The love of our enemies had 
never before been taught us, and it appeared to 
me contradictory to our nature. I vvifhed to be 
convinced, not only of this chriftian duty, but 
Q.4 of 

( 232 .) 

of all the other principles of Chrifl's doctrine, 
Thofe objections which were made againfl ChriO; 
on account of his birth, his education in Egypt, 
and the inftruction he received in the fciences 
"which were taught by the Jews, made me ima- 
gine that his doctrine was more than human.. 
How could he be above the prejudices of edu- 
cation and inftruction ? how could he teach things 
quite contrary to them ? There is nothing contra- 
dictory in his doctrines or in his actions. We can 
ealily convince ourfclves of this, if we only avoid 
judging according to our own manners, cuftoms 
and prejudices. Not to get acquainted with the 
Gofpel becaufe Chrift was a Jew, is the fame in 
reality as if one mould object to read the writings 
of Mendelfon *, becaufe he is a Jew. The life 
of Chrift, pubiifhed at Zurich, delivers the hi- 
ftory in a modern ftlle, and in an uninterrupted 
connexion. Though the manner of writing, and 
the exprefllons ufed by the facred penmen, were 
not fuch as I greatly objected to, yet they have 
prevented me from reading ferious enquiries on 
the facred writings, lince I uled to read moftly 
thofe books which were written againft them. 

Mofes Mendelfon is a learned Jew, now .living at 
'Berlin. He has acquired great reputation by his philofo- 
phical writings. Some mention is made of him in the Cri- 
tical Review, vol. xxxiv. p. 223. 

A divine 

( 233 ) 

A divine revelation had appeared to me unne- 
ceffary, its hiftorical evidence dubious, and the 
facts related Teemed to be very improbable. I 
now began to be convinced of the neceflity of a 
divine revelation •, for many reaibns, and in parti- 
cular the neceflity of finding out ftro.nger motives 
for virtue than thofe which realbn only fupply us 
with, would no longer let me doubt of it. 
Bonnet and Lefs proved to me the poffibility and 
credibility of the miracles. Wefi might have 
been fully fufficient to have convinced me of the 
truth of (Thrift's refurreclion, but you know I 
examined all the reft of the arguments. I be- 
lieved many facts which are taught in natural 
philoibphy, where I could not difcover the caufe 
and its effects ; why did I doubt of the poffibi- 
lity of miracles, when the defign intended by 
them is fo clear ? Certainly there was no other 
reafon, but becaufe I was not inclined to it. I am 
now as fure of the facts the truth of a divine reve- 
lation is founded upon, as if I law them before 
me. When a number of credible witneffes agree 
in things in which our fenfes are only concerned, 
1 am as much convinced of them, as if I knew 
them from my own experience. It was neceflary 
for me to attain the higheft degree of certainty in 
this refpect, in order to remove all doubts which 
now and then perplexed my underftanding ; and 

I praife 

( 234 ) 
I praife God, with a lively fenk of gratitude, 
that I have met with fuccefs. 

You know, my dear friend, with what a dif- 
pofition of heart I began thefe enquiries. My 
former principles taught me to guard againft 
every violent affection. Ufe, the nature of my em- 
ployments, and the manner in which I rofe to my 
former profperity, had procured me a habit of 
acting in alicircumitances with coolntfs. I found 
I had reafon to be apprehenfive, that in one 
point tendernefs would get the better of my un- 
derflanding, and this was friendfhip. This only 
made me ienfible of the fituation I was in -, for 
neither the pofiefiion nor the lofs of my former 
profperity affected me much. I was always upon 
my guard againft my fancy, and for this very 
raafon I avoided reading poets and other authors 
that could inflame it. I was often doubtful 
about my opinions and miftrufted them, but 
when I once had adopted them as true, I avoided 
further enquiry and change, becaufe they pre- 
vented my putting them in practice. My obfti- 
nacy, and my indefatigable purfuit of the fame 
object, together with the coolnefs I acted with, 
have contributed much to my profperity and my 
misfortune, and they might have been the caufe 
of making me lofe everlafting happinefs, if the 


( ns ) 

many proofs which I have heard and read of it, 
had not recovered me from my error. 

The examination of the hiftorical arguments 

of divine revelation with care and precaution, has 

fatisfied and convinced me. Being certain of 

this, it was an eafy matter for me to remove all 

my other doubts. I was certain there mud be 

flronger arguments to convince us, than thofe 

which mere reafon furnifhes us with. A proper 

degree of felf-love, honour, and love of virtue, 

are liable to fo many explanations, our under- 

ftanding can fo eauly be impofed upon, and our 

will is with fomuch difficulty reftrained, from con- 

fidering the object only from the point of view in 

which it is molt agreeable. Nothing can have 

greater effect upon our conduct than a habit of 

devotion, and though I thought religion always 

ufeful for this purpofe, I neverthelefs believed, 

that a fufficient knowledge of our duty, and a 

defire of acting conformably to it, were at all 

times fufficient motives for being virtuous. 

I found the origin of religious ceremonies 
in the natural fears and infirmities of men -, I 
faw how much the many revolutions which 
have happened, have increafed them, and what 
influence the manners, cuftoms, and ways 
cf thinking of nations had had upon them. 


This confideration made me acknowledge with 
gratitude, the excellence of chriflianity^ whofe 
ceremonies are fo clear and well founded. We 
accüftöm burfelves to thofe things which we 
fee daily ; we perceive how they happen, but are 
unacquainted with their remote caufes, which, at 
3aft, lofe all their effect. For this very reafon 
the idea of the exigence of a God, and his pro- 
vidence over all things, is fo little difcoverable in 
our actions. Our internal fehfations, confei- 
ence, and the contemplation of nature, feldorh 
carry us fo far back as to make any alteration in 
our moral conduct. The will of God, in regard 
to our happinefs, remains doubtful to our rea- 
fon, as long as it is left to the decifion of our 
underftanding. The various revelations in the 
Old Teftament, prophecies, lavys, and remark- 
able punjm merits, could be looked upon as irri- 
poftures of men, and as things which arofe from 
natural caufes : but fmce Chrift has come into 
the world, and told us that his doctrine v/as the 
will of God, and that he was fent to inftruct us, 
and that he himfelf v/as the true God •, no further 
excufe remains for our ignorance and error. 
Every one to whom the opportunity is offered, 
and who will accept of it, can eafily convince 
himfelf of its truth. 


( 237 ) 
An unexceptionable evidence is ascertain as 
our own experience, and whoever wants the latter 
teftimony, may confider the prefent ftate of the 
Jews, who are living witneffes of the truth of 
Chrift's prophecies. No perfecution, oppref- 
fion and contempt could ever induce this people 
to mix with other nations, and to adopt their 
manners and cuftoms. The wonders by which 
Chrift has confirmed his divine million can be 
proved wi h the fame certainty. They were 
performed without any preparations, without 
any circumftances that might have impofed upon 
the fenfes, without any previous expectation, be- 
fore a number of incredulous fpectators, in fuch a 
manner that no impofition can pcfiibly be fuf- 
pected. They were befides of fuch a nature that 
every man of common underftanding might per- 
ceive, that thole means which were made ufe of 
never could produce fuch effects. A man, born 
blind, recovered his fight; one that had lain 
four days in the grave, came to life again ; a pa- 
ralytic was reftored to health again ; — and all this 
by only fpeaking a word. If we were to fbp- 
pofe that in the regular courje of nature fuch a 
tiling was to happen jufl: at this time, or that God 
produced thefe events by the interppfition of 
almighty power, it follows, in the firft inftance, 
that Chrift mnft have been informed of it before*, 
£ and, 

< 2 3 8 ) 
and, in the fecond, that God heard him. Both 
which are equally a miracle, and a proof of his 
divine miffion. 

As foon as I was convinced of this •, nothing 
remained, but to examine whether the doctrine 
which he preached, and we are to believe, con- 
tained any thing that contradicted reafon. He 
wifhes me to be happy and to be virtuous ; to feek 
for my happinefs not in fenfual pleafures and in 
the gratification of my paffions ; to love God 
above all things, and to deal with my neighbour 
as I wifli to be dealt with myfelf. He enjoins 
me to believe that there is -another life after this, 
where the condition I mail be in will depend on 
the fentiments and actions of this prefent life -, 
that without the afiiftance of God I am unable 
either to think or act virtuoufly ; that God will 
do nothing extraordinary for me, to remove the 
fatal confequences of my tranfgreflions, which I 
have to fear in a future life ; that God has fent. 
him to give me the moil undoubted affiirance of 
his juftice, and his immutability: but that this, 
at the fame time, is the greateft proof of his love 
towards me, fince through him I am made ac- 
quainted with the fureit way of becoming accept- 
able to the Supreme Being. — All this is very 
confiftent with reafon. 


( 239 ) 

But Chrift commanded me bcfiues, to believe 
that he was very God and very man, and the fon 
of God ; and that in the divine nature the Fa- 
ther, Son and Holy Ghoft are one. This Teemed 
to contradict all my notions which I hitherto had 
entertained. But I knew that the word of Chrift 
was always truth, that he mud be fully ac- 
quainted with thefe myfteries, and that I had not 
the leaft reafon to imagine, he would require of 
me to believe any thing that was contradictory to 
reafon. It might be above my underftanding-, but 
how many things do we meet with in the courfe 
of nature, whofe exiftence we cannot deny, 
without being able to explain why they are io, 
and how they are connected with their caufes ? 
1 thought myfelf obliged to believe thefe myfte- 
ries upon the word of Chrift-; neverthelelefs I con- 
fidered them with great attention, without find- 
ing them con trad ictory. God might reveal him- 
felf unto us in a different manner from that he had 
hitherto made ufe of, though our reafon was un- 
able to explain it. God choie for this the lan- 
guage of men, and thofe figns by which we com- 
municate our ideas to each other. The very God 
who fpoke through Chrift, was the fame who 
made himfelf known to us as Father and Holy 
Ghoft. It cannot be denied that God, when we 
confider his nature as well as his attribute';, could 


( 240 ) 

not be able to produce various effects at the fame 
time, without our being obliged to believe that' 
his effence is divided. It therefore was the Su- 
preme Being, which reafon teaches us to be one, 
that operated through Chrift, though it only ap- 
peared under a human form, and made itfelf 
known to us, fince we ourfelves could not per- 
ceive it by our fenfes. We are ufed to apply 
more common notions to lefs known objects, in 
order to explain more exactly the idea we have of 
them. This has recalled to my mind the idea of 
gravity, which in different bodies operates diffe- 
rently, though the power itfelf is always the 
fame. I have not found any thing contradictory 
in this idea of the Trinity, notwithstanding that 
I have reflected upon this fubject with great ac- 
curacy, and in more different views than I have 
done here. In the fame manner I have found 
nothing- contradictory in Chrift's making known 
unto us God as Father and Holy Ghoft. 

Kovv eafily can we fall into errors if any one 
wants to give us an idea of a thing unknown to 
us, by comparing it with another we are ac- 
quainted with. I dare not apply, in fuch cafes, 
every little idea annexed to the object, to the 
other which I want to explain it by. If I was to 
tell an Indian, that the water in our climate 


( 241 ) 

grows fometimes as hard as ftone, and he mould 
then think that ice might be made red hot, and 
be ufed for materials to build a houfe, he would 
think fbmething very abfurd. Chrift has (hewn 
us God under the character of a Father, in order 
to compare his love towards his fon under a 
figure that was known to us. A philofophical 
deicription would not have cleared it up better. 
But if we were to apply to God every thing that 
falls under the notion of a father, we mould be 
liable to the fame miftake of the Indian. In 
the fame manner we can conceive how Chrift, the 
Son of God, was born from his Father. From all 
eternity God would make himfelf known to us by 
Chrift, and the word, beget l , conveyed to us the 
beft idea of this myfterious tranfa&ion within the 
Deity. We can likewife form an idea of that rela- 
tion which fubfifts between the Father and Chrift, 
by thinking him the Son of God ; we are only 
to feparate thofe ideas which reafon teaches us 
not to be applicable to God. The Son has his 
eiTence of the Father, and it is the fame with 
that the Father has ; he loves him, and what is 
his is likewife the Son's. 

Laftly, Chrift promifes, that after his depar- 
ture, the fpirit of God mould confirm thefe 
truths which he had taught. This was done in 
R a vifible 

( 242 ) 

a vifible manner by thofe gifts which the Apoftks 
received, and he continues to operate upon thofe 
who obferve the doctrines of Chrift, and, by fo 
doing, are capable of making good refolutions, 
and of thinking and of acting as it pleafes God. 

God has now revealed himfelf in a threefold 
manner, and every one of them reprefents him 
to me as the author and promoter of my 
happinefs. We are ufed to exprefs compound 
ideas with a fingle word, to avoid prolixity. For 
this reafon, the word, perfon, was made ufe of 
in the doctrine of the Trinity. If I now find a con- 
tradiction, when I fay, " There is one God, but 
three perfons in him," the fault is then in my 
underftanding-, its notions are not juft, it com- 
bines the common notions of God and of a per- 
fon in a ftrange and improper manner. If I was 
to oppofe the doctrine of the Trinity, I mould act 
like the Indian who would not believe the exift- 
ence of ice, becaufe he was told that it would 
melt and turn into water again in the fummer and 
by the fire. 

I reflect on Chrift's redemption, to which my 
underftanding has no objection. I am convinced 
how necefTary it is for my happinefs to know, that 
my actions are not indifferent to God : and now 
I am afliired, with all hifcorical certainty, that 


( 243 ) 
Chrift lived, and was proved to be intimately 
connected with the Deity, by performing fuch 
actions as cannot be explained by natural caufes. He 
allures me of his friendfhip, and I cannot con- 
ceive what advantage could arife to him, or what 
intention he could have to deceive me. I am 
inclined to believe my friend in a matter, where 
his former tranfactions have convinced me that 
his knowledge is fuperior to mine, if my under- 
ftanding finds nothing contradictory in it. Chrift 
tells me, that he knows the will of God, and 
that God himfelf fpeaks to me through him, 
which certainly is the bed way to learn his will. 
The doctrines he inculcates agree with thofe 
which my own reafon teaches to be necelTary for 
my happinels ; and I was fenfible how eafily I 
could mifapply theie doctrines, if I did not al- 
ways remember, that God faw my actions. What- 
ever determined me formerly to act in fuch a 
manner as my own happinefs required, I owed to 
other caufes and intentions, and why mould I not 
have interpreted the actions and kindnefs of 
Chrift in, the fame manner? He recalls to my 
memory whatever I know from political and na- 
tural hiftory, and exprefly aflures me that extra- 
ordinary events were defigned for this purpofe. 
He fums up all thefe together in this fmgle pro- 
pofition : God loves man as a father. Now God 
R 2 lhews 

( 244 ) 
fliews himfelf as a friend. Chrift is defpifed and 
looked upon as an impoftor, though he teaches 
nothing but the manner in which we may become 
happy, and performs actions which are beneficial 
to men. To convince me more fully of his fin- 
cerity, he gives me the grcateft proof of his 
friendfhip : he fuffers death in confirmation of a 
truth, of which was I not certain, and did not 
confirm it accordingly, I could not be happy. 
God, with whom Chrift is clofely connected, 
permits all this. Can I now ever doubt that 
God's providence extends to me ? I know from 
reafon that the regularity in my conduct: muft be 
pleafing to God, and that it is impofiible for me 
to act agreeably to it, if I had not a lively idea of 
God's omniprefence. I know him now in the 
character of father and friend, and under both 
thefe denominations always fhall reprefent him 
to me. 

Chrift enjoins me in particular to believe in 
him, and to remember his love towards me, and 
really without this I mould not be able to per- 
form my duty. The more I reflect on thefe 
truths which he has taught me, the more I find 
how far I am from living in a manner that would 
pleafe God. Should I not be extremely forry 
for having offended a friend whom I neglected, 


* ( 245 ) 

and would not know ? I was uncertain whether 
'there might be a future life, and whether the con- 
fequences of my offences could have any influence 
upon it. Chrifl promifes me, that God will 
avert thefe evils, if I place an unreferved confi- 
dence in his friendfhip. — I am eafy with regard to 
what is pafled, however I know how foon a pre- 
fent idea effaces a former one : and this is the 
cafe when I ftrongly defire what I mould deny 
myfelf. The doctrine of (Thrift informs me of 
this likewife. The fpirit of God will revive thefe 
doctrines within me, if I make myfelf well ac- 
quainted with them, and conftantly endeavour 
to put them into practice. 

There is nothing in my reafon that could pre- 
vent me from being fully convinced, that thefe 
means Chrift teaches me, are the only ones that 
can render me virtuous and acceptable to God. 
It is my own fault if I do not receive and make 
ufe of them ; for I then refufe to be happy. God 
will not, for my own fake, interrupt thofe regu- 
lations he has made in regard to future life. I 
mult feel the bad confequences of my neglect, 
and of the vain hopes which I placed in God's 
mercy. I am obliged to him that he has made 
himfelf known to me in fo extraordinary a man- 
ner. I could not even expect to deferve the 
H 3 happy 

( ^6 ) 
happy confequences c»f the refolution I had 
made of obeying Chrift's precepts -, fince, with- 
out the perpetual afliftance of the Spirit of God, 
I am unable to obey them, and fince, notwith- 
ilanding this afliftance, I fo frequently neglect 
and forget them. 

This is entirely confiftent with the doctrine of 
Chrift. I always believe thefe three but one 
God, and the idea I have makes the Trinity not 
different Deities. All this is conformable with 
my reafon. However, I dürft not hope, con- 
fidering God and myfelf, that this Supreme 
Being would be fo merciful as to teach me how, 
according to the fentiments of my own under- 
ftanding, I could be happy. Full of gratitude 
and confcious of my being unworthy, I adore ir, 
and mall never defift to adore and praife the 
mercy, fhewn to me through Chrift. 

I was greatly affected when I read the life of 
Chrift. It increafed my pains, and gave me 
new ones. But I was afraid it was owing to my 
diipofition of mind, becaufe I was ftill full of 
doubts. The examination of the truth of the 
chriftian religion became more agreeable to me, 
the more I advanced in it. My reafon was fatis- 
fied with it, but I did not find thofe inward 

feelings a 

( 247 ) 
feelings, which, as I had heard, were connec- 
ted with true chriftianity, according to the 
confuted notions of fome people. Spalding's 
book fet me right in this point. I found here 
how difficult it is to get rid of opinions and 
fentiments which are become a fecond nature, 
though I was convinced that they were falfe and 
deftructive. My doubts arofe contrary to my 
wifhes, and I did not pafs them over before I 
had examined them feparately, and had fre- 
quently reflected on the arguments for the truth 
ef religion. 

The application of its doctrines produced with- 
in me a lively repentance, forrow, fhame, and 
fentiments of humility. Without anxiety or 
fear I expected the comfort which the Gofpel 
promifed me. To regulate my fentiments agree- 
able to its precepts, was my chief employment. 
The perpetual remembrance of the greatnefs of 
God's mercy, which was fhewn to me by the 
redemption of Chrift, made me overcome thofe 
difficulties I found arofe from my natural dif- 
pofition. The pleafure of finding a happinefs, 
which I hitherto had wilfully renounced, 
could not produce in me a lively joy, becaufe 
I remembered that I had been feeking it formerly 
in a manner that could not pleafe God. It was 
R 4 impoffible 

( 248 ) 
impoflible to make myfelf perfectly eafy. I was 
prevented from this, by the thought that if I 
had formerly entertained my prefent fentiments, 
I might have thereby excited thofe perfons, with 
whom I had been moil intimate, to enquire after 
the fame happinefs. Now I am praying to God 
that he may do it, and I am perfuaded he will, 
fince Chrift has promifed it. Prayer takes away 
the uneafinefs I have on this and other points, 
which are difagreeable for me to remember. I 
direct my thoughts to God, repeat the doc- 
trines of the Gofpel, reflect on their connexion, 
apply them to myfelf, and if I addrefs myfelf to 
God in prayer in the name of my Redeemer for 
thefe mercies, I find that thefe contribute to 
render me eafy, and I admire with gratitude the 
power of religion. 

I fee now how little a chriftian deferves the 
reproach of being felf-interefted. He prays, 
and receives no reward, but by endeavouring to 
pleafe God, when he regulates his fentiments 
according to his precepts. If God hears him, 
he acknowledges with gratitude, that the doc- 
trine of Chrift procured him the means for it, 
he remembers his own weaknefs and praifes the 
afliftance ot God. No blind confidence in 
God's mercy, nor the hope of the happinefs of 
5 a 

( 249 ) 

a future life, inflame his imagination, which 
regulates itfelf after the difpofuion the mind is 
in. Bonnet and Lav at er conducted me gra- 
dually to hopeful profpects of eternity, but I 
rather perule the writings of Spalding, Alberti y 
and others of this kind. 

The remembrance how indefatigable I had been 
for many years together, in collecting and prattifing 
my former principles, obliged me to keep a watch- 
ful eye over myfelf, for fear they might infenfibly 
have an influence upon my new fentiments. How 
earneftly do 1 wifh to efface the impreffion which 
I have made upon others. I never intended to pro- 
pagate my principles, though I never denied 
them. I have reafon to lament a crime, which 
I muft be alhamed to own even before a world 
that thinks as I did formerly \ and I feel on this 
account, a more lively fenle of thofe tranfgref- 
fions which I have committed againft God. My 
fenfe of friendfhip and humanity always re- 
calls to my mind the bad example, and the 
feduction by which I have contributed to make 
others look upon fenfual pleafures as the chief 
end of our exiftence. Nothing that relates to 
my prefent fituation difturbs me, except this 
and other reflections of this kind. To terror 
and a fear that deprives us of the ufe of reafon, 

I always 

( 2 5 ) 

I always have been almoft a flranger. Death was 
not terrible to me, fince I looked upon it as acon- 
fequence of natural caufes, and a fate that is un- 
avoidable. At prefent nothing appears dread- 
ful to me, fmce I know that I depend upon 
God, and am convinced of the truth of reli- 
gion, and expect a happy eternity. 

I praife God fincerely, that I arrived at this 
conviction, and I acknowledge it with a lively 
fenfe of gratitude, that you, my dear friend, 
have conducted me to it. You chofe the only 
method which fuits the difpofition of my mind. 
Rhetorical figures and declamations would 
have had but little effect upon me. Suppofe 
you had endeavoured to enfiame my imagination 
and paßions, my principles would foon have com- 
peted them again. The doctrines of religion I 
always remembered; for in the earlier days of 
my life I had frequently read the Bible, though 
with ideas quite different from thofe I entertain 
at prefent. Scripture exprefiions were familiar 
to me, and I afterwards had contracted habits to 
connect them with all the doubts and opinions 
which correfponded with my principles. Before 
my underflanding was convinced that they were 
falfe, you could not expect that I mould 
fincerely believe the truth of revelation. I foon 


( 251 ) 

difcovered my tranfgreflion of moral duties - t but 
you know, and I have told you how much felf* 
denial it coft me, to acknowledge my errors. 
My pride would fain animate me to conquer the 
fear of eternity like any other fear. My de fire of 
being as happy in this world as pofiible, had 
taught me to defpife every kind of danger, and 
this arofe more . from a cool reflection on the 
latter, than from a lively fenfe of happinefs. 
Truth only could bring me back, and you left me 
to my own refearches to difcover it. You pro- 
pofed to me, only thofe confequences which my 
turn of thought and actions could have in regard 
to fuch of my friends, as were concerned in my 
fate as well as I was in theirs. I was on this 
account always much affected, and this alone 
could put my mind in agitation. However, it 
could not have difpofed me to embrace 
religion, if I had not clearly feen its truth; 
and I am convinced I ihould have em- 
braced it before this time, if its evidence had 
ever been laid before me, and taught me in 
the manner you did. I found in religion what I 
wifhed for, and what I thought I dürft not hope 
for. I knew its truths only under certain images 
and expreffions, to which I at laft familiarized 
myfelf fo much, that I forgot to combine any 
ideas with them. The firft indruction can 
? be 

( 252 ) 

be effected only by fenfible reprefentations, but I 
ufed them afterwards for railing doubts againft 
religion ; and this prevented me from expecting 
thofe comforts from it which I fought for. 

I had two reafons for not examining more 
minutely the arguments for religion. You know 
the objections commonly made againft the credi- 
bility of fupernatural events and miracles. I was 
not acquainted with Lefs and Bonnet, and the ob- 
jections appeared ro me unanfwerable. When on 
the other hand I reflected on the redemption of 
Chrift, it feemed to contradict all my notions. 
To fhew to man the love and juflice of God in a 
ftronger light, redemption is commonly repre- 
fented thus : That God was angry on account of 
the fins of men, but loved them to fnch a degree 
that he was defirous of pardoning them. But 
this could not be effected without the death of his 
only begotten Son, who is God himfelf. The 
notions which I had of God, excited on this 
point particularly my attention, and it feemed 
hard to me to reconcile the neceffity of redemp- 
tion with them. I afked : Cannot God forgive 
without this ! I was puzzled when I confidered 
redemption only in relation to God. But as 
foon as you taught me to reflect on it, in re- 
lation to man, you removed all my doubts, I 


( 253 ) 
found the neceflity and the greatnefs of God's 
mercy in giving his own Son to make men 

As to practical chriftianity, it always has offen- 
ded me to find fo many whofe ientiments and acti- 
ons fo little correfponded to their pretended faith, 
and fenfe of truth. I difcovered the effects of 
fancy and felf-deceit, fince they were fatisfied to 
have avoided fenfual extravagancies, abandon- 
ing themfelves on the other fide, under pretence 
of zeal for religion, to pride, envy, and a fpirit 
of perfecution. This abufe reprefented to me 
religion as an impofture, which had always been 
more hurtful to human fociety, than all irregular 
enjoyment of fenfual pleafures. Imagination 
overlooks the means, and when it employs 
its powers with too much vivacity on the ob- 
ject, frequently through want of attention 
chufes the wrong ones. To apply the truth of 
religion carefully to onefelf, to be honeft and 
comply with the duties of our fituation in life, 
I think mod neceffary to entitle a man to the 
name of a chriftian. In this view I have 
wrote this with pleafure. I fubmit it, my 
dear friend, to your judgment, and leave it to 
you to make that ufe of it which you think bed. 

April the 23d, 1772. 




O F 

Count Enevold Brandt, 

During the Time of his Imprisonment 
until his Death. 


The Reverend D. HEE. 


The public may rely on the authenticity of the 
following account. It is beyond a doubt that D. Hee 
drew it up, and publifhed it himfelf for reafons 
which he mentions in the courfe of his narration. 
If the dotlor fhould not anfwer the expectations we 
might have of him as a writer, the tranflator hopes, 
that his character as an honefl man, and as a well- 
meaning divine, together with the fubjecl of the 
narrative, will make fome amends for it. 



O F 

Count Enevold Brandt, &c. 

^pHE fentiments and the conduct of the un- 
**■ happy Count Brandt, during the time of 
his imprifonment, were quite different from what 
they were in his profperity, in which he offended 
all well inclined people. His behaviour was 
very edifying to thofe that had an opportunity of 
converfmg with him, in the latter part of his 
life, and who have fincerity enough to own, 
that he was very much humbled, and that the 
words of our Saviour to St. Peter were appli- 
cable to him* when he fays : ' When thou arc 
S con- 

( s 5 8 ) 
converted, ftrengthen thy brethren.' He {hewed 
himfelf in this character to all the officers that 
had the watch over him. 

Since he was made prifoner of ftate, and 
even now after his death, many unjuft, and, 
God knows, very untrue reports have been 
ipread, as if his repentance had been hypocrify, 
and his fortitude and chearfulnefs when he died, 
temerity and prefumption. I have always con- 
tradicted fuch reports, and I do it now. Since 
I am fully convinced of the contrary, my con- 
fcience will not permit me to keep filence, but 
rather to declare, that the alteration of his fenti- 
ments was unfeigned, and that he hearkened to 
the invitations of the Gofpel. I do this with fo 
much the more readinefs, fince I believe that the 
greateft part of what has been faid, has pro- 
ceeded from a zeal to promote the caufe of 
infidelity. There is a fet of people, who 
think it their duty to defend incredulity, even 
at the expence of truth and confcience. They 
have afiiduoufly propagated every thing which 
has been faid about that levity of behaviour in 
the Count, which I myfelf obferved in the be- 
ginning, but which he owned and fo much re- 
pented of afterwards. I (hall not apologize 
for what might have happened before I came, 


C 2 59 ) 
nor for that which was vifible even in the be- 
ginning of my vifiting him 5 I rather fhall praiie 
the mercy of God, which has mown its power 
fo furprizingly afterwards, and confirmed what 
the Apoftle fays : ■ Where fin abounded, grace 
did much more abound*' 

Count Brandt received the beft of educations. He 
faw none but good examples in the houfe of his 
parents, who had chofen the beft tutors to form 
his young heart for the fear of God. He him- 
felf was fenfible of this in his prifon, ami affured 
me that he very often had felt the power of the 
converting grace of God within his foul. Fie 
recollected in particular the time when he was 
firft admitted to the Lord's Supper, by the Rev. 
Mr. Piper, at Copenhagen ; at which time, ac^ 
cording to his own words, he received the fa- 
crament with a fervent devotion : he added, he 
could never forget the words of the clergyman, 
which made fo great an impreflion upon his 
mind : « Hold that faft which thou haft, that 
no man take thy crown.' 

On the 23d of February, the Right Re- 
verend the Bilhop Harboe fent me the King's 
own orders, whereby I was defired to vifit 
S a Count 

C 260 ) 

Count Brandt, who was priibner in the caftle*. 
I was not over-pleafed with this charge, knowing 
too well the fentiments and the former life of 
the Count. He had been the greateft volup- 
tuary, and a friend to all thofe vices which are 
generally annexed to this character, and one 
that turned every part of religion into ridicule. 

The next day I was introduced to him by Ge- 
neral Hoben, as the clergyman with whom 
he might fpeak about religion. He received 
me with great civility, and I, on my fide, af- 
fured him how much I fympathized with him 
in his misfortunes. I wanted to gain his con- 
fidence, and therefore afked him, how he could 
fupport himfelf in his diftrefTed condition ? He 
faid, " His mind was very much compofed 
and calm j" to which I replied: that it was a 
great advantage he enjoyed, and that I wifhed 
his eafe of mind might be built upon a good 
foundation •, upon which I took an opportunity 
to fpeak of religion as the only fource of com- 

* General lieutenant Hoben, the commander of the 
caftle, had afked Count Brandt: If he defiied to cenverfe 
with a divine? His anfwer was, he had no obje&ion to it, 
but he fhould like to know who was to be the clergyman, 
that was to attend him. He was told that this entirely 
depended on the will of the king. 


( 26l ) 

fort. He then faid, " That he believed, the 
report that he had no religion, had reached me 
likewife." I faid, I could not deny this ; and 
I was therefore the more forry, fince he 
wanted what was moft neceffary, and what could 
be moil ufeful to him both at prefent and in 

" He then affured me that he never had been 
entirely without religion, though he muft own 
that he did not fpeak always with due refpect 
of it." 

Finding that he had no intention to con- 
ceal his former way of thinking, I therefore 
afked him, if he mould not like that we might 
be left alone to carry on our converfation by 
ourfelves. He faid, " He was ready for it." 
I then defired the officer who was upon watch, 
and who was with him day and night, to leave 
the room ; which was the cafe afterwards always 
whenever I came. I now reminded him of v/hat 
he had told me before, that he never had been 
without a fenfe of religion, not even then when 
he ridiculed it. 

He confirmed what he had faid, but owned 

that he had feveral doubts about religion. I 

S 3 told 

( 2Ö2 ) 

told him that doubting was very natural to us, 
and even good chriftians now and then' might 
be made uneafy by doubts, but that it was fin- 
ful to raiie doubts, and entertain them with 

His doubts were about the fall of man, ori- 
ginal fin, and fome other matters concerning 
religion. When I had given him an anfwer to 
thefe doubts, I exhorted him to leave his care- 
lefs way of thinking, and not to obftruct the way 
to truth, by wilfully prejudicing himfelf againft 
it. He faid, " That he had formerly talked 
very freely againft religion, but that many 
things he had faid, were only produced by a 
defire of ihewing himfelf witty." 

When I exhorted him, fince he faw himfelf 
how badly he had afted, and into what mifery 
he by his contempt of religion had thrown him- 
felf, to mind now the time which v/as left him, 
and to look out for the falvation of his foul, 
he feemed to be greatly moved : particularly 
when I put him in mind of that good education 
he had enjoyed in the houfe of his parents, who 
took all pofiible care to prevent the ruin of his 
foul. Whe.i I reprefented to him the tears of 
his pious mothet, on account of the unhappy 


( ^6 3 ) 

condition he was in, and the dangerous fituatiön 
of -his foul, he burft out into tears, fo that I my- 
felf began to be very much moved. Many more 
things being faid, and exhortations given, I took 
my leave of him, afking if it would be agreeable 
to him, that I fhould call again ? To which he 
replied : " He mould be glad to fee me at any- 

I left him with good hopes, and heard foon 
after of the effects of my vifit j for his levity, to 
which he was even in his prifon addicted, feemed 
to be checked, According to the account given 
to the commander of the caftle by the officer 
who had the watch, he not only had been very 
quiet, but had alfo burfl out in tears for very 
near an hour and a half together, fitting all the 
while on his bed. — But as foon as he had eafed 
his mind by his tears, his levity appeared again, 
for he fang an air afterwards. This, however, did 
not difcourage me, nor abate my hopes. I vifited 
him the next day again, and found that my vifits 
were really not difagreeable to him ; for he faid, 
" He had longed to- fee me." 

Our converfation of this day turned upon le- 

veral religious fubjects. ! I exhorted him to make 

the beft ufe of his time, and to turn his thoughts 

towards God -, and for this very reafon I ftrongly 

S 4 recom- 

( ^4 ) 

recommended prayer to him. I afTured him that 
I had prayed fervently to God that he might fave 
his foul, and I mould continue doing the fame. 
He thanked me for this, and acknowledged, 
that the companion for him which I had fhewn 
the day before, had gained me his heart, and 
had made me dear to him. I fpoke feveral 
things after this, and found that my exhortations 
had fome effect upon him, for he very feldom, 
when I was with him, even to the laft day of 
his life, was without tears in his eyes, fo often as 
I fpoke to him about his former life, the depra- 
vity of his heart, and the greatnefs of God's 
mercy. — He owned that he earneftly defired the 
pardon of God, through Chrift his Redeemer, 
of which he, as he himfelf faid, flood greatly in 
need ; although the natural difpofition of his 
heart might not be bad, yet it would not juftify 
him before God, in whofe eyes he rnuft appear 
as a very great finner. 

In the mean time a rumour was fpread, and 
I heard of it, that he, even in my prefence, with 
another perlbn who fat next him, had made 
ufe of words which betrayed the great levity 
of his mind. I was very forry to hear fuch 
things, and the next time I law him, I very ear- 
neftly fpoke to him about this report, and ap- 


( 26 5 ) 
pealed to his own confeience, whether he had been 
guilty of fuch a thing or not. He ieemed to be 
affected on the occafion, and declared " He was 
not ibrry on account or' what the people laid ; 
it grieved him rather that I myielf mould enter- 
tain fuch thoughts of him." I allured him it 
was no pleafure to me to entertain them, but my 
confeience obliged me to admonifh him concern- 
ing this report, that I might fpare rnyfelf any 
future uneafinefs about it. However, he owned, 
" That it was poffible fuch words might have 
efcaped him, on account of the levity of his 
heart, but he hinted, that iome pedbn or 
other, that wanted to bring fuch reports among 
the people, had given him an occafion for it, of 
which he made ufe, whilit his heart was not 
upon its guard." — 1 exhorted him to beg God to 
forgive him this tranlgreiTun, and to be watchful 
over himfeif, that if opportunities ihoulu offer 
themfelves of committing fuch an action again, 
he might refill in time : that he had better give 
no aniwer at ail to things which might induce 
him to exert his vanity, but rather fliew himfeif a 
penitent finner, who was as anxious to edify 
others by his converfation now, as he formerly 
had been to corrupt them by it. — He anfwered, 
" He was not able yet to fnew himfeif as a reli- 
gious man before others, bi.t lie fhould follow 


( i66 ) 

my advice, and give no anfwer to things that 
could difhonour himfelf and others." — I could 
defire of him no more at prefent, but exhorted 
him to fearch diligently the wretchednefs of his 
moral condition, and to pray to God to affift 
him in this felf examination. 

I could eafily imagine, that in my abfence, 
when he had nothing to entertain himfelf with, 
his former vanity and levity would return again •, 
I therefore offered to bring him fome religious 
books, that he might improve in what is good. 
He thanked me for it, and defired I would not 
forget it. 

When I paid him my next vifit, I brought 
him the translation of Gibforfs Paftoral Letters, 
for I thought this book might be ufeful to him 
en account of the folid arguments it contains 
for the truth of the chriftian religion, particu- 
larly fince the Count had formerly pretended to 
be a freethinker and a deift ; I gave him like- 
wife fome of Dr. Doddridge's writings. He took 
thefe books with a kind of eagernefs, and told 
me afterwards that he had been edified by them. 
I likewife brought him a Bible, and heard at 
another time that, according to his own con- 
fefTion, the 53d chapter of the prophet Ifaiah, 
and the 13th of St. Luke had made a great im- 


( 26 7 ) 

preflion upon him. He read fome Pfalms of 
David to me, and defired me to explain feveral 
paffages which he did not quite underitand. I did 
it, and he feemed to be pleafed, for during the 
whole time I was fitting by his fide, he would fix 
his eyes very attentively upon me. Now and 
then he would flart fome objections, but I can- 
not fay that they ever fhewed any levity of heart, 
or the leafh of malice, but rather tended to a de- 
fire of better information. — He begged of me to 
bring him Hervey's Meditations , and Newton on 
Prophecies, as the latter is tranflated into Danifli 
by Commodore Efiura. He told me afterwards 
that the reading of thefe books had much edified 
him, particularly the latter, fince it contained 
fuch clear proofs of the divinity of the Scriptures, 
upon which all religion is built. 

However, the reports of his pretended levity 
did not ceafe, and that his conduct in my abfence 
was quite different from that when I was prefent : 
yet I found thefe reports, from the following rea- 
fons, to be falfe, and that they were the idle in- 
vention of ill-meaning people. The converfations 
we had together convince me that his expreffions 
were the femiments of his heart, which began to 
be averfe to worldly things. Befides, I enquired 
of the honeft and venerable commander of the 


( 7.6S ) 

caftle, if any one of the officers that guarded him, 
and who were to give an account of him every 
morning, had mentioned any thing to this pur- 
pofe ? He allured me it was all falle, and that the 
Count, fince I had brought him thefe books, 
had amufed himfelf with them, and that he 
icarcely ever laid the Bible out of his hands ; for 
which reafon he very feldom fpoke of any thing 
elfe, much lefs of any thing that could give offence. 
The alteration of his fentiments appeared likewife, 
as the commander obferved, from his behaviour 
before the committee that fat on his affairs, who 
teftified that he not only freely anfwered the ques- 
tions laid before him, but that he even confeffed 
more than he v/as requefted to do. The com- 
mander added, that if any thing indecent had 
happened, he would have informed me of it. 
1 was pleafed to hear this, and I was Hill more fo, 
fince every one of the officers that had been upon 
watch allured me, that his converfation was not 
only decent, but likewife oftentimes edifying ; 
for he frequently reprefented to them what com- 
forts religion adminiftered to a man who was 
convinced of its truth and importance ; it was 
the only means to make our minds compofed, 
which happinefs he enjoyed, and was indebted for 
it to religion. He allured them, that during his 


( 26 9 ) 
profperity, and in the enjoyment of all luftful 
pleafures, he felt no real fatLfaction of mind. 

I was (till more convinced of the falfity of 
thefe reports, fince fome things were faid to 
have happened whilft I was with him, which 
I knew were not true. It was faid, for in- 
flance, that when I was once with him, I, ac- 
cording to cuftom, had found him very devout; 
but when I had left the prifon, I had liftened at the 
door, which was bolted, and hearing from within 
fome things which betrayed his levity, I had re- 
turned to him again, and reproached him on 
account of his conduct. This report, which, in 
fome refpects, concerned myfelf, convinced me 
clearly by its untruth, that fome malicious per- 
fons invented and propagated all thefe ftories, for 
the fake of rendering the reverence the Count 
paid to religion fufpicious, left his example might 
open the eyes of thofe profefling his former prin- 
ciples. The Count himfelf hinted to me, that a 
certain perfon, whom he named, had propagated 
the moil wicked and low expreffions, which he 
was faid to have dropped on account of his ap- 
proaching death and execution. This fame man, 
or fomebody elfe like him, has given out, that I 
had denied giving the facrament to the Count, 


becaufe his heart was fo hardened. How great 


C 270 ) 

an untruth this is, the remainder of my narrative 
will fhew. 

I now was fully fatisfied on account of thefe 
reports, and exhorted him to go on in the 
manner he had begun, till he had finifhed his 
courfe. I heard with pleafure, that he became a 
preacher of repentance himfelf. With great 
freedom he owned now before me and others, 
that his imprifonment was the means of fetting 
his foul at liberty, and he found his chains fo 
little troublefome to him, that he would often- 
times take them up and kifs them. " For, faid 
he, when I believed myfelf to be free, I was a 
miferable flave to my pafllons ; and now, fince 
I am a prifoner, truth and grace have fet me at 
liberty." He further pitied the miferable condi- 
tion of thofe that were under the yoke of unbe- 
lief and fin, which he himfelf had worn, and kept 
himfelf in it by reading deiftical writings. He 
mentioned, among the reft, the works of Vol- 
taire, to whom he owed very little that was good. 
He faid, he had fpent upon his travels four days 
with this old advocate for unbelief, and had 
heard nothing from him but what could corrupt 
the heart and found morals. He was very forry 
for all this, but was much pleafed that he had 
found a tafte for the true word of God, whofe 
1 efficacy 

( 27 1 ) 

efficacy upon his heart, fince he read it with 
good intentions, convinced him of its divine 
oricrin. On this occafion he fpoke of Struenfee, 
and faid, he was a man without any religion, 
who, from his infancy, according to his own con- 
feflion, never had any imprefiion or feelings of it. 
As to himfelf, he afilired me, that though he 
had been far from being virtuous, yet he always 
entertained a fecret reverence for religion, and 
had fpoken ieveral times about it to Struenfee, in 
hopes of bringing him to better fentiments, but 
he never would hear him. It appeared to me a 
little odd, that the blind mould thus have led 
the blind : I therefore anfwered nothing, thinking 
it might perhaps be his lelf-conceit that made him 
fpeak fo, or that he wanted to make me entertain 
a better opinion of his errors than I had reafon for, 
therefore I would not tempt him to fuppcrt an 
untruth by defending what he had told me. But 
I found afterwards that he had fpoken the truth, 
when I was defired by D. Munter, in the name 
of Struenfee, to come to him, as he had fome- 
thing to tell me, which was to be communi- 
cated to Count Brandt. The commander of the 
caftle told me this meffage of D. Munter, and 
my anfwer was, that I was ready to call upon 
Struenfee, if he (the commander) and D. Mun- 
ter would be prefent. My requeft was granted, 


C 272 ) 
and 1 came to Struenfee, who received me very 
civilly, and gave me a Jong account of his for- 
mer bad principles, (which, in fhort, were 
nothing eile but mere materialifmus and tnecba- 
mfiniar, according to the fyltem of de la Mettrie *) 
and told me, laftiy, what I was to tell Count 
Brandt. The contents of the meilap-e were, that 
he was convinced, by the grace of God, and by 
reading the Bible, of the divine authority of the 
Scriptures ; and that I might tell Count Brandt 
of this alteration of his, which, he hoped, would 
be agreeable to him. He added, which 1 ihall 
mention in his own words, 

" I confefs that Brandt has fpoken frequently 
to me about religion, but I always defired him 
to keep filence en this head." By this I found, 
that what Brandt had told me concerning Stru- 
enfee was true +. I brought the mefTage I was 
charged with by Struenfee directly to Brandt. 
He rejoiced inwardly on account of this news, 

* De la Mittrle died at Berlin in 175 1. His famous book, 
Vhomme Machine, makes man a mere machine, and his foul 
an inhgniheant word. The powers of the foul he thinks to 
be nothing elfe but an unknown motion of the brain. His 
Traite de la <vie heureufe, contains the confequences of this 
fyilem. He denies the immortality of the foul, laughs at 
all religion, and places all human happinefs in the enjoy- 
ment of fenfual pleafures. 

f See the foregoing Hiftory of the Converfion of Count 
Struenfee, p. 79, 83. 


C 273 ) 

defired me to go toStruenfee again, and tell him 
that it gave him great pleafure to hear that he 
had embraced truth, and that he begged of him 
to adhere to it to the laft. He added : " Tell 
Struenfee, on my part, that my own experience 
has now taught me, that true eafe of mind is no 
where to be found, but in Chrift crucified." — I 
carried this meffage back, again to Struenfee, who 
feemed to be much pleafed at it. 

As I kept no journal of the fubjecTs of 
bur many conferences, I mall not attempt a cir- 
cumftantial detail ofthem. I had never an in- 
tention of publiming this, if the aforementioned 
reports had not forced me to it. 

The Count would frequently mention how un- 
happy his former condition had been ; how great 
reafon he had to praife God's mercy that had 
faved his life at feveral times in moll imminent 
dangers, that he might not perifh for ever. He 
mentioned in particular one inftance, when he, 
laft fummer, was thrown from his horfe, taken 
up for dead, and laid four and twenty hours 
fpeechlefs. " Confider, faid he, where my poor 
foul would have gone to, if death had fnatched 
me away in the condition I was then in, for I was 
dead in fins-, but God fpared me that I might 
come into this condition, and that my foul may 

be laved. 

T I ex. 

( 274 ) 
I exhorted him to pray frequently: He 
laid, he did it very often, and looked upon it 
as a great mercy of God that he now confidered 
it as his duty to pray : but, he faid, he mult 
complain that his heart was often very cold, 
though he repented of his former way of life, 
and hoped for mercy upon no other foundation 
than Chrift's redemption. When I had com- 
forted him in a manner I thought proper, he 
then told me, that he, one evening, after a fer- 
vent prayer, had found a great eaie of mind and 

Towards the end of his life he declared, that 
during the time I had attended him, he had 
three different impediments to conquer, which 
he, at laft, through the afiiflance of Chrift, 
overcame. The firfl was, that it was hard for 
him to confefs that he really was fo great a finner 
as he afterwards did. Thefecond was, to follow 
my advice, and to own before thofe that were 
about him the alteration of his fentiments. The 
third was of fuch a nature, that I dare not men- 
tion it, though it concerned his foul. — I found 
that thefe victories which he had gained over 
himfelf were not imaginary, but real ones : for 
he now was ready to open his heart, and to pour 
out what hitherto had lain concealed in it. He 


( *75 ) 
fpoke without fear of his approaching death, 
and praifed the inward affurance he enjoyed of 
being pardoned before God, and of which mercy- 
he acknowledged himfelf to be unworthy. 
" What have I deferved before God, faid he, but 
his eternal wrath ?" 

The time when his fentence was to be siven 
now drew near, but he appeared to be quite 
calm, for he was confident of the honefly of his 
judges, and that they would aft no otherwife 
than according to law and confeience. I (hewed 
him that he was very right in this refpecl, and 
that it was a proof of a Providence, that his judges 
were all fuch men, whofe knowledge of the law, 
and integrity of confeience, would not permit 
them to deviate the lead from juftice, and that he 
might be aflured, his fentence would be entirely 
agreeable to the tenor of the law. As much as he 
feemed to be refigned to his fate, yet it appeared 
to me as if he dill entertained fome hopes of laving 
his life. Perhaps this was owing to the common 
rumour, that Count Brandt would come off with- 
out lofing his life, which fomebody had told him, 
and thereby revived the thought of efcaping the 
fcaffold. About four or five weeks before this, 
he was fo full of the hopes of a pardon, that he 
felt a paroxyfm of his former levity and ambition, 
T 2 which 

( 2 7 6 ) 

which made him defire of the royal corhmiflion to 
have his fetters taken off in a folemn manner, and 
to propofe to them fome other ftrange requefts, 
He himfelf, when I once took my leave of him, 
told me about it, and I did not chufe to give him a 
direct anfwer, becaufe I looked upon it as an attack 
of his former levity and precipitation. However, 
when I came again, I reminded him of what he 
had told me, and afked him, how he could enter- 
tain any fuch thought, which betrayed fo much 
of his attachment to the world ? I defired him to 
give this up entirely, fince he, in his prefent 
fituation, fhould endeavour to difengage himfelf 
from all worldly things. He took this advice 
not at all amifs, but owned, that the thought he 
had entertained was produced by his levity, to 
which fault he was fo much addicted, that he 
believed there were not ten people in the world 
equally fo with himfelf. I looked upon this con- 
feffion, and the manner in which he took what I 
had faid, as a proof of the fincerity of his heaf t 
and his repentance. I told him likewife, on this 
occaiion, how little foundation he had for enter- 
taining any hopes of faving his life ; that his 
crimes v/ere then indeed not publicly known, but 
that there was a public rumor in what they con- 
fided ; and in cafe, faid I, you fhould fwe your 
life, the greateft mercy that could be (hewn to 


( 277 ) 
you, would be the changing of your dead war- 
rant into imprifonment for life; and I defiredhim 
to confider which he (hould prefer. He anfwered, 
" That if God fhould forefee that, in cafe his life 
was faved, he fhould be carried away again by 
vanity and fin, he would pray of him not to 
fpare his life, but rather let him die ; for it 
would be infinitely better for him to enter into 
a happy eternity and to be with Chrift, than to 
become again a flave of fin, and to lofe in this 
manner everlafting happinefs." He repeated this 
declaration, at the very time when he expected his 
fentence, in fuch expreflions which proved that 
the victory of grace and of faitli was now become 
greater than before ; for he faid, his prayers were 
now always after the manner in which Chrifl 
prayed ; " Not my will, but thine be done." 
" In cafe, faid he, it cannot be otherwife, and I 
cannot efcape death, I leave this world fully 
perfuaded that this is the will of God, who fees 
that I might be carried away again by the world, 
and, therefore, in mercy to me will prevent this." 

I went to him on the 24th of April, the day 
when he was to receive his fentence. I found 
him lying upon his bed, and more thoughtful 
than common ; but he got up directly, and I 
began to fpeak to him in a comforting manner, 
T 3 that 

< 2 7 8 ) 

that he had no reafon to be fearful of his fen- 
tence in this world, fince he knew his judgment 
in that which is to come, namely, a full pardon 
before God" through Chrift his Redeemer. He 
then, after fome further converfation, promifed 
that he would make himfelf eafy and wait com- 
pofedly for the will of God. 

I heard the next day that fentence was not 
only given, but that it was alfo believed that 
the King would entirely confirm it. I therefore 
went to him, and found him, though .he was 
fully informed of the manner of his death, as 
compofed and calm as I had left him. I fpoke 
feveral things that could afford him comfort, 
and he heard ail that I faid with pleafure, and 
afked me afterwards whether I had read his 
fentence ? I told him, I had not, and knew no 
more of it than what the common report was. 
He then took a copy of the fentence out of 
the drawer of a table which flood next to him. 
When I had read it, I laid many things to com- 
fort him j and he feemed quite compofed ; 
and as he now had given over all hopes of faving 
his life, he refigned himfelf entirely to his fate, 
and feemed to be fo full of his future happinefs 
that 1 could not help admiring his peace of 
mind, which God had granted to him whofe 


( m ) 

fins had been fo great. He himfelf was fenfible 
of this, for he derived from this grace of God, 
not only his tranquillity of mind but even his 
health. For when he enjoyed his liberty, he 
frequently was not well, but during the long 
time of his imprilbnment, though he could 
fcarcely ftir or move, he had a good 
appetite, and flept well. . He afked me then 
what day his execution would take place, for 
he had heard that it was fixed for Thurfday the 
30th of April. I told him that I was in this 
refpecl as uninformed as he himfelf was ; and 
the time of his departure mud be equally 
the fame to him, if he only knew he was 

The following day, which was Sunday, April 
the 26th, I received, jult when I came from 
church, a letter from Bifhop Harboe, wherein I 
was acquainted with the King's pleafure, that 
both the ftate-prifoners mould be executed 
on Tuefday next, April the 28th, and that 
I was accordingly to regulate my affairs 
in regard to Count Brandt. This news 
put my mind into a great emotion : I 
haftened foon to the poor Count. When I 
came to the caftle, I enquired of the com- 
mander, whether Brandt knew that his end was 

T 4 fo 

• ( 2So ) 

>{q near. -He anfwered, he did not, and he 
himielf knew nothing of it, but thought he 
fhould receive orders for it that very evening y 
which was the cafe. I therefore mylelf was to 
acquaint him with this melancholy news, and 
I did it in the following manner. Since I came 
to him to day rather earlier than ufual, I told 
him I fhould make the belt of his time fince it 
was fo fhort. Ke guefTed from what I faid 
that I knew the time of his execution, and afked 
when it was to be ? I told him it was the day 
after to-morrow, when he fhould be delivered 
from all evil. He heard it unconcerned, and 
faid he readily fubmitted to the will of God. 
I then prepared him for receiving the facrament, 
after which I took my leave. 

1 came on Monday about ten o'clock in the 
forenoon, and when I had fpoke to him about 
the facrament, I made a propofal to him, which 
I left to himfelf either to accept or nor. I faid, 
he knew how many bad reports were fpread of 
his behaviour during the time of his imprifon- 
ment ; I therefore left it to him to confider 
whether it might not be of ufe to make a decla- 
ration before proper witneffes, what his real 
fentiments were. He readily complied with 
the propofal, and I went to the commander of 


{ 28l ) 

the caftle, who came with four gentlemen of- 
ficers more, in whofe prefence he declared, that 
he was ready to die and was not afraid of it •, he 
likewife confeffed before the All-knowing God, 
that he without hypocrify had fought for God's 
mercy ; he likewife confeffed, as he had done 
before, that he had acted very inconfiderately, 
that his levity had been very great, and that he, 
on this account, acknowledged God's mercy, 
in fuffering him to die, left he mould be drawn 
away again from religion. He faid, he knew 
very well, that the fame levity of temper had 
induced him, in the beginning of his imprifon- 
ment, to talk in a manner he was now alhamed 
of j though he was fure in his confcience that 
many untruths were invented and propagated 
among the people-, but he forgave thofe who 
had been guilty of fuch a thing. Now he wimed 
that thofe gentlemen that were prefent would 
bear teftimony to what he mould fay. He 
then acknowledged hjmfelf a great finner be- 
fore God, a finner who had gone aftray, but 
was brought back by Chrift. He then begged 
the commander and the other officers to foro-ive 
him, if by his levity he had offended any one of 
them, and wifhed that God's mercy in Chrift 
might always attend them as the greateft blef- 
fing. He fpoke all this with fuch a readinefs 


( 282 ) 

and in fo moving terms, that all who were 
prefent were affected by it, and every one of 
them wifned that God would preferve him in 
this fituation of mind to the laft. When 
the gentlemen were gone, I adminiftered the 
facrament to him, and he appeared as penitent 
and as devout as I have at any time feen any 
chnitim whatever. When I approached to 
give him the facrament, he turned in the chair 
as if he would face me, and I, thinking he 
meant only to make it moie commodious to 
me to give it him, defired him to fit Hill ; but 
he faid, " He would try to kneel down," which 
he did, and received the facrament with fo 
many tears and with fuch figns of inward 
hope, that I could not help being greatly 

I left him about noon, but came again in the 
afternoon, when I found him quite compofed 
without any fear of death. I fpent all the 
time I was with him in devotion, and left him 
late in the evening. 

On Tuefday the 28th of April, which was 
the day of his execution, and as I firmly be- 
lieved of his entrance into the blifs of eternity, 
I came to him early in the morning, about fix 


( **3 ) 
o'clock. I afked him directly how he did, and 
how he had retted that night. He faid, " He 
was very well, and had retted well." 1 anfwered, 
I was glad to hear it, for if the body had had its 
rett, his foul would be the more ferene to enter 
upon its journey. He prayed a long while in 
my prefence very fervently. He (hewed him- 
felf in his exprefiions a humble and penitent 
fmner, but at the fame time one who entertains 
the fureft hopes of being pardoned before God, 
He prayed for the church of Chnft, for the 
King and the nation, for all that were mifkd 
by error and irreligion. Laftly, he prayed to 
God to forgive him all that whereby he had 
offended others, and exprelfed how readily he for- 
gave thofe that were his enemies. He thanked 
God for all the mercies he had ihewn him during 
the time of his imprifonment ; he prayed for 
me likewife. Then he read the Lord's prayer 
with much attention, adding now and then an ex- 
planation to what he had been reading, infomuch 
that I was amazed to iee how great his prefence 
of mind was when he was jutt going to die. 
When he was pronouncing the words, < Thy 
kingdom come,' he added : " Yes, now it is 
coming." When he read, « Forgive us our 
trefpaffes, as we forgive them that trefpafs 


C 2S4 ) 

againft us,' He added: « Thou O God and 
my Redeemer, who knoweft my own heart and 
that of all men, thou knoweft how free my 
heart is from all hatred and malice againft any 
perfon whatever, and that I wifh well to every 
body in this and the future world." 

When he had finifhed his prayers, his chains, 
which were fixed in the wall, were taken off, and 
he put thofe clothes on in which he intended to 
appear en the fcafFold. He then drank a difh 
of coffee and eat fomething, walking up and 
down in the room, which he could not do be- 
fore. As often as I afked him how he found 
himfelf, he faid, he was not afraid of dying. 
He afterwards afked me, whether I had feen 
any body executed before, and how far he was 
to lay his body bare for execution ? 

Soon after, the door of the prifon was opened, 
and an officer defired me to get into a coach that 
was to carry me before him to the place of exe- 
cution. I then recommended him to the mercy 
of God, who was ready and powerful to 
ftrengthen to the laft. He then embraced me, 
and we parted, till we met again at the place 
•f execution. 


< 28 5 ) 
When 1 received him there, I comfor- 
ted him, and faid, among other words, that 
Chrift would not leave him. Upon which he 
anfwered : " He has been with me all the way 
hither." We then went up the (lairs to the 
fcaffold. Even here, he aflured me his mind 
was compofed, and he was not afraid of death. 
I fpoke feveral things after his fentence was 
read to him, and his coat of arms broken. 
And When I happened to quote the words, 
' Son, be of good cheer, thy fins are forgiven 
thee,' he faid : " Yes, they all are cad into 
the depths of the fea." 

When I had read thofe things from the ritual 
which are ufual on fuch occafions, and had afked 
him, if he acknowledged the juftice of his 
fentence ? and when he had anfwered, " Yes," 
he then began to pray that God would blefs the 
King and the whole land for Chrift's fake. 
Several prayers being offered up on my part, I 
gave him the benediction, and taking him by 
the hand, delivered him up to juftice. He 
quickly pulled his clothes off, laid himfelf 
down, and when his head was already upon 
the block, and I reminded him of Jefus 
falling on his face in Gethlemane praying, he 
2 faid : 1 

( 2S6 ) 

faid : " The blood of Chrift intercecdeth 
for me." Whilft I was faying : < O Chrift, in 
thee I live, in thee I die ; O thou Lamb of 
God that takeft away the fins of the world, be 
merciful,* he fufFered his punifhment. 

Two anonymous Letters to Count Brandt, 
which were found in the pocket-book which he 
ufed always, to carry about him, wherein 
he was forewarned of what happened to him 
many months after. 


" Perhaps you may wonder to receive a letter 
without a name on a matter of fo great impor- 
tance, from a friend who formerly ufed to tell 
you the truth before your face ; but the times 
we. live in now, will not juftify a man in ex- 
pofmg himielf to danger, without feeing any 
good arifing from it. 

The two laft court-days, I fought for an op- 
portunity at Hirfchholm to fpeak a few words 
to you in private ; but I found it was impoflible. 
You might have obferved this, if you had been 
at all attentive; but I found you fo much 
engaged with another object, that I could not 


( 2S 7 ) 

approach you near enough to make you under- 
ftand what I wanted : and I thought it not ad- 
vifable to go to Hirfchholm on purpofe to pay 
you a vifit. 

Once, Sir, you mewed that you had the ho- 
nour of your mailer at heart. It was then' 
afierted, that neither zeal nor attachment were 
the fprings of your actions, but ambition and 
intere":, becaufe you hoped that if you could 

bring into difgrace Count H you might 

fucceed him in that favour and honour he en- 
joyed. However, the bulk of the people 
thought your intentions noble and without felf- 
interefc. Perhaps the immediate confequences 
of this your transaction have made fo great an 
imprefiion upon you, that you think you dare 
not venture upon fuch another. And yet the 
final iflue of the affair has fhewn, that even your 
ill fuccefs in it has been more advantageous to 
you than detrimental. Therefore, Sir, do not 
think that this was the mere effect of accident, 
but rather that a higher hand has guided this 
matter. I do not knew what your notions of 
God may be, or whether you believe a God at 
all, or only a mere Stoic fate. It would be very 
fuperfiuous to debate a matter of fo great impor- 
tance here. Time will come, when experience 


( 288 ) 

will teach you that there is a God, who fees and 
knows every thing, who either early or late 
rewards virtue and punifhes vice. 

My intention is not at prefent to make 
you a chriftian. It is only to remind you of 
your duty, that duty, which even an honeft 
heathen thought himfelf obliged to, towards his 
King, his country, himfelf and his family. The 
heathen laws demanded this of every fub- 
ject and of every man who laid any claim to 

You fee, Sir, in what manner your King and 
benefactor is ufed. You fee the indecent things 
that are done before his eyes, arid in which you 
yourfelf are tod much concerned. You fee 
that in the whole kingdom every thing is turned 
Upfide down. Confider, Sir, and recover your 
fenfes, and you will not be at a lofs how to act, 
If it is true, (and it is but too true) that the life 
of the King is in danger, or at leaft, that pre- 
parations are making to take away his liberty •, 
you certainly muft know it. The fenfe of the 
nation on this head cannot be unknown to you, 
and that one time or other you are to account 
for the life and liberty of your Sovereign. 
You, Sir, fince you are conftamly about him, 


f 289 ) 

and fince you fee and know of every thing -, be 
allured that your head will be anfwerable for it 
either fooner or later. Think of your own 
fafety, I conjure you by the friendfhip I enter- 
tain for you. It is in your power to do it. You 
fee plainly from the defire of the King to avoid 
the place and company in which he is ill-ufed, 
and from his averfion to return to it, that he is 
fenfible of the ill-treatment. He one time or 
another will deliver himfelf from you, or good 
fortune will rid him of you, and what will then 
be your fate ? Would it not be beft for you, 
to fave your head, and to do at the fame time 
your cluty ? To build your happinefs on a folid 
and noble foundation, which you then will owe 
to your zeal, your faithfulnefs and attachment 
to your King, who will reward you with riches 
and honour, and the nation will not think even 
this an equivalent for your fervices. You and 
your prefent welfare depends on the caprice of 
a wretch who will abandon you as foon as he is 
above your afliftance. At prefent he makes 
ufe of you as the monkey did of the cat, and I 
fancy you have found this out more than once 
if you will not impofe upon yourfelf. 

If the King mould come to town, I advife 

you to act in this manner. Prevail upon him 

U to 

( 2QG } 

to go to the palace, and perfuade him to call 
for one or two of his faithful fervants to con- 
fult in what manner to proceed. It is unfor- 
tunate enough that the number of thefe faithful 
fervants is fo fmall, and reduced perhaps to one 
or two perfons ; for the belt and cleverefr, men 
are carefully removed. You will eafily guefs 
who thefe perfons are without my naming them. 
Perfeverance, honefty, and experience are cha- 
rade riftics by which you are to know them. I 
could name them, but I would avoid the lean: 
fufpicion of fclf-interell. However, I mult tell 

you, that it is neither nor ■ •, both 

are detefted by the nation to an equal degree» 
You will forfeit your head if you do not follow 
this advice, which I give you as your friend, 
and a faithful fervant of the King. If you do 
not mind it, but neglect your duty towards, 
your King and benefactor, you may be fure 
it will cod you your life, your honour, and 
every thing which is deareft to an honelt man, 
and befides no body will pity you. If you, on 
the other fide, do what your duty requires, and 
lave your King from thofe wicked hands he is 
fallen into, you may be fure that there is na 
honour or profperity to which you would not be 
entitled to, and this with confent of the King 

and all his faithful fubjects. 


C 291 ) 

Perhaps you will think proper to fliew this 
letter to your Struenfee, to give him a proof of 
your faithfulnefs, at the expence of thofe obliga- 
tions yeu have fworn to your King, and to 
induce him to grant new favours to the hufband 

of Lady ; and perhaps he might do it, 

to deceive you, and to keep you in his intereft. 
But I aflure you that if they have got rid of the 
King, you will be wretched, and perhaps the 
guilt will fall upon you. 

I repeat it again, your head mall anfwer for 
the fafety of the King. You are continually 
about him, you accompany him, you are in- 
truded with his perfon. And left you may plead 
ignorance, I allure you upon honour, that in 
fuch cafe, the copy of this letter mall be pro- 
duced againft you in proper time and place. 
And for fear you mould miftake in this refpect, 
I defire you to mind the feal of this letter, 
which contains the initial letters of my name, 
and which will alio be produced againft you. 

The life and health of the King, together 
with the welfare of the kingdom, are in your 
hands ; act in a manner that you can anfwer 
for before your fellow-citizens, I will not fay 
before God, (for I do not know what your idea 
U 2 of 

( 2Q2 ) 

of God may be, though I have reafon to think, 
from what you told me once in your apartments 
at Chriflianfburg, and afterwards at Hirfchholm, 
that your notions are not altogether as they 
fhould be.) 

You fee I am not afraid of your guefling who 
I am, and I afilire you, that if you act as I ex- 
pect from your birth, you will find me to be 
your faithful and devoted fervant." 

July the 8th, 1771. 

" Well, Sir, what I foretold you has happened, 
and you feel already the effects of your bad con- 
duct. You have been faithlefs to your King, 
and you are now treated by others in the fame 
manner. They ufe you as the monkey did the 
cat. You are deceived, and fmce they find they 
can do with you whatever they pleafe, they laugh 
at you now, and it will not lad long before they 
will fend you with contempt about your bufinefs ; 
and left you Ihould tell tales, they very likely 
may imprifon you for life, or lead you, by fome 
means or other, into another world. T :is will 
be the due reward of your treachery, ..lice, 

and your mean actions. I prognofticated allthefe 
things to you in my laft letter ol tb : 

fince that time, my friendship for you, of which 

I have 

( 293 ) 

I have given you undeniable proofs, is grown 
very cool ; you do not deferve that it fhould con- 
tinue, fince you have been unable to follow 
good advice, and to do what your honour and 
your duty requires of you; you rather have 
chofen to perfevcre in your wicked way of life. 
If you, at that time, had followed my advice, 
you would have fet the King at liberty by faring 
him, and y ur praife would have been immortal : 
you then would have fatisfied the duties of a 
good fubjecl, of a faithful fervant, and of an 
honeft man : you would have gained the ap- 
plaufe, not only of all your countrymen, but 
even of all Europe : they would all have united 
to procure you rewards according to your merit, 
and proportionable to the fervices done to the 
King and your country. And certainly nobody 
would have been more deferving of rewards. 
But now you are detefted through the whole 
kingdom, and every where you are laughed at. 
Much was expected from your loyalty, your 
love for the King, and from a fenfe of your own 
duty •, but people were miftaken. You are now 
punifhed •, you are infamous among the whole 
nation, and your name is mentioned with horror. 
At court you are laughed at, and entertained 
with vain hopes •, an imaginary greatnefs is 
(hewn you, you are tickled with the empty title 
of Count, which will remain a monument of 
U 3 your 

( 294 ) 
your want of faith, your weaknefs, your mean^ 
nefs, and your reproachful conduct. In the 
mean time Struenfee infults the King and the 
whole royal family, not becaufe they had of- 
fended him, but only to (hew his unlimited 
power. He arrogates all honours to himfelf ; 
he makes himfelf mailer of the government, 
the concerns of the kingdom, and of the 
King himfelf, whom he diihonours before the 
whole world; he difpofes of the revenues of the 
kingdom in a defpotic manner, and againfl all 
order. This wretch dürft attempt to put himfelf 
on a level with his matter, by drawing up an 
order, by which the figning of his name obtains 
the fame authority, which, according to the 
conftitution of the kingdom, only belongs to the 
fjgnature of the King. Your meannefs, and 
your unwarrantable conduct, have aflifled to raife 
him fo high ; you could have prevented this, 
and therefore you will be anfwerable for the con- 
fequences. He commits crimes, and aifaflinations, 
and he does it to keep the reins of government; 
but you contribute your (hare, by obeying the 
orders of this Crqmwell, who is ready to facri- 
fice the life of the King a thoufand times over, 
if poilible, that he may obtain his wicked ends a 
and provide for his own fecurity. Inftead of ac- 
quainting the King wich things which nobody 
knows better than ycu, (for you are cunning 


( *95 ) 

enough when it concerns your own intereft) yoti 
aflift this Dick leat the bußo in arrogating to him- 
felf royal authority •, in keeping his mafter under 
guardianfhip ; in degrading him in the eyes of 
his fubjects, that their love may ceafe, or at 
leaf! decreafe ; and laftly, as every one fays, in 
ufing him perlbnally ill in the bargain. 

You that can prevent all this, and fave the 
King from the hands of this good-for-nothing 
wretch, and yet are not willing to do it, you, 
Sir, are accountable for it, and you deferve 
greater punimment than the traitor himfelf : and 
believe me, as fure as that there is a God, you. 
iboner or later, mall pay for it with your head. 

You fee how prepoflerouÖy bu.finefs is tranfc 
a&ed ; every thing is overthrown and jumbled 
together in the mod flrange manner, and blended 
v/ith the highefl inconfideratenefs, of which there 
is no parallel inftance to be met with in hiftory» 
The moß: honeft people that have ferved the king- 
dom fuch a long while and fo faithfully that even 
-envy itfelf could not blame them, are removed at 
a diltance : they are turned "way in the mofj: 
mameful manner, if they will not fall in with the 
■meafures of this Dottor of phyfic^ or if he is afraid 
of their honefty. Their places are filled up with 
wretches who know nothing of the conftitution 
of the kingdom and of the fituation of affairs •; 
U 4 who 

C 2 9 5 5 

who know nothing of the bufinefs annexed to their 
offices ; in fhort, people of whom nobody fo 
much as dreamt that they were acquainted even 
with the firft principles of the art of government. 

For God's fake ! what is the meaning that a 

* — and v profeflbr of mathematics 

at Ligniz, is placed at the head of the board of 
finances ? Thefe men enjoy a yearly falary of 
3000 rixdollars, whilfc others that have ferved 
forty or fifty years without blame, are now ftarv- 
ing, becaufe they could not betray the King and 
their country, and would not be employed in 
promoting bad and deftruclive ends. Yet thefe 
ignorant men dare to rake upon their fhoulders a 
burden under which, particularly in thefe un- 
happy times, a man of courage, abilities, and 
experience would have trembled. However, 
the wife man knows the danger, and therefore 
will not hazard the welfare of the nation and his 
good character ; but the ignorant man who has 
nothing to lofe, does not perceive the unhappy 
confequences of his inability and ignorance. 

You fee, Sir, that the nation is acquainted with 
the w retchcdnefs of this prefent adminiftration, 
that it feels the bad confequences of it, which 
will drive it at laft to extremities. You may be 
juTured of the truth of this the more, fjnce dif, 


( -2-91 ) 
content diicovers itfelf in a public and an alarm- 
ing manner. You know all this, but you con- 
ceal it from the King, though you are the only 
man that converfes with the King, whilft accefs 
to the throne is denied to all the reft of his fub- 
jects. You alone can inform the King of the 
dangerous fituation he himfelf and his kingdoms 
are in. The inconceivable indifference where- 
with the heft and braveft of the King's fubjects 
are treated, fhews that a certain kingdom (Nor- 
way) may foon become alienated ; fo that, in a 
fhort time, every thing may be lofl without help, 
if his Majefly continues to hearken to fuch bad 

You fee, Sir, how the department of foreign 
affairs is managed, and how, by the intrigues and 
incapacity of our great prime mini ft er ^ who has 
the audacity to interfere, every thing is per- 
plexed, fo that the name of the Danes is now a 
fubjecx for ridicule.' 

You fee, Sir, and you know, how arbitrarily 
his excellency our great prime mini ft er ^ Count 
Struenfee, difpofes of the finances — the pure blood 
of the poor fubjecls. 

You, Sir, as you are a Dane, of noble ex- 
traction, beloved by your King, to whom you 


( 2o8 ) 
and your family owe fo many favours ; and yet 
for you to keep filence! — Do not you blufh ? 
and are you not convinced in your confcience, 
that you yourfelf ought to fall the firfl facrifice 
of fuch conduct, fince you might have prevented 
all this, or had, at leaft, a thoufand opportu- 
nities to fet things to rights again ? 

If tumult and rebellion (which God forbid) 
fhould be the confequences, of whom do you 
think the exafperated populace would take hold 
firft ? Would not they fecure you firft, fince 
you are, at leaft, as culpable as Struenfee ? 
And do not you expofe your life, fooner or later, 
to the greateil danger by this conduct, which is 
not confiftent with the character of an honeft 
man ? 

Reflect, Sir, and return to your duty: I conjure 
you by the allies of your father, whom you never 
knew ; by the tears of your virtuous mother, 
who weeps, perhaps, already on account of your 
approaching untimely death; and what is füll 
more, I conjure you by the tears, which, per- 
haps, one time may be fhed, on your account, 
by the King, the royal family» and your afflicted 

You are not afraid to difagree with the Doftor- 
prime-minifier when it concerns your private inte- 
rest s 

( 2 9 9 ) 

reft y but you are mean enough to be reconciled by 
aprefent of io,ooo rixdollars, of which he has 
[ robbed the King and the nation to give them to 
you. Are you not afhamed of fuch a meannefs ? 
and are you afraid of this man in matters that con- 
cern the welfare of your King and your country ? 
Thefe traitors and villains, who defend a bad 
caufe, would not have courage to oppofe you, 
through fear of endangering their heads, which 
already fit loofely upon their moulders. You 
would fave your King and your country ; you 
would deferve rewards, and would have a right 
to claim them •, they would follow you of courfe^ 
fince nobody would refufe them : I myfelf, who 
write this letter, would be the firft that would 
contribute largely towards loading you with riches. 
With what tranquillity and inward fatisfaction 
would you enjoy your fortune, your prerogatives, 
and your honour, if you mould gain this by the 
confent, and even agreeably to the wifhes of your 
King, your country, and your fellow citizens. 
I defire you, Sir, to confider this well, though I 
entertain a better opinion of your generofity, than 
to fuppofe that you are to be inftigated to per- 
form noble actions only by mercenary motives. 

In my opinion you muft begin this important 
, bufmefs in the following manner. You are fre- 
quently alone with the King : you take a walk in 


( 30o ) 
the evening with the King, as I was informed laft 
Wednefday at Hirfchholm : you have found that 
the King is weary of the guardian (hip he is kept 
under. Make uic, Sir, of fuch a favorable mo- 
ment, or occafion it yourfelf, fince you have 
understanding enough for it. Reprefent to 
him the unhappy fituation he is in, and how 
ihconfiftent it is with thofe obligations his royal 
dignity lays him under. Tell him that he, by 
figning the order of the 15th of July, has divided 
the throne and his royal authority between him- 
felf and Struenfee ; that he himfelf, the royal fa- 
mily, the kingdom, all his fubjects, his reve- 
fcies, the life and the property of every one, 
are left to the arbitrary difpofal of this arch-grand- 
vizir, who is a man without experience, without 
honour, without religion, without fidelity ; who 
does not regard laws, who is mafter over all, even 
over the life of the King. You know that great 
crimes are oftentimes productive of itill greater 
ones, or that we at leaft muft fear that it might 
happen. When you have explained this to the 
King, then reprefent to him the defpair his fub- 
jects are in, and to what they might be driven by 
fuch a deftructive adminifiration, and by fuch 
tnifery. Shew him what danger threatens him 
and his empire, if this wretch has time enough 
to turn every thing upfide down. If you mould 
put the heart of the King in emotion, and (hould 
2 have 

( 3 01 ) 
have convinced him, how abfolutely neccflary it 
was, to think of the prefervation of his royal per- 
fon, his family, and his kingdom •, then pro- 
pofe to him to go directly to Copenhagen, wheie 
he will be quite fafe ; to refort to the palace, and 
to fend for two or three noblemen that can give 
good advice, according as the circumftances re- 
quire ; that he might not take falfe fteps (which 
could be of confequence) at the time when the 
nation mould attempt to revenge itfelf, and to 
mew its hatred againft the authors of its misfor- 
tunes and its miferies. I could name thele 
perfons, but the nation will do it for me ; they 
ought to be perfons acquainted with government, 
that they may advife according as the prefent 
fituation of affairs requires : but it muß not 

>3 — , nor , nor ■— , for thefe 

three the n ation equally detefts, and they, there- 
fore, would fruftrate the whole defign. 

For God's, your King's, your country's, your 
family's, your own fake, confider all this well, 
and do not delay any longer to haften to the 
affiftance of your unhappy country. Save the 
»ation, the King, and your own head. 

September the 19th, 1771. 

( 3ö2 ) 

The Sentence of Count Enevold Brandt* 
at full length. 

T appears, from Count Brandt's own con- 
feflion, as well as from the declaration of the 
late prime minister, John Frederick Struenfeej 
and from other circumftances, that Count Ene- 
vold Brandt was not only Struenfee's very good 
friend, but even his intimate, whom heintruiled 
with his greatefl fecrets. 

Therefore, in confideration of the royal fa- 
vour and intimacy which he enjoyed, it would 
have been his duty to endeavour, by all means, 
to remove thofe things,, of which he, according 
to his own declaration in his trial, difapproved in 
the conduct, fentiments, and tranfacliions of 
Struenfee, and which he mud have found foolifh, 
audacious, and detrimental both to the King, the 
administration, and the whole empire. 

Inftead of this, he, as a criminal fubjecl: and 
fervant of the King, unworthy of his truft, has 
acted in concert with Struenfee, and has nor left 
off to be his intimate, and to affift him. 

He fuffered himfelf to be employed by Struenfee 
to keep every body from fpeaking to the King, 
left his Majefty mould be informed of what was 
blameable in Struenfee's conduct, in which he 

himfelf was fo deeply concerned. 


( 303 ) 

He has behaved, not only in private, but 
even publicly, to the great concern of his fellow 
fubjects, infolently, and without any refpect to- 
wards his King. 

He has not fhewn that reverence to his Ma-' 
jetty which every good fubject thinks his duty, 
and exprefTes readily from his heart on all occa- 
fions, in his words and actions : he rather has 
oppofed the King, that he might gain and keep 
Struenfee's favour, to obtain an extravagant 
fortune, and ferve his own private intereft. 

His memoir, which is a kind of correfpond- 
ence between him and Struenfee, is a proof of 
his abfurd pretenfions, and that he acknow- 
ledged his blameable behaviour towards the 
King. Therefore he mould have altered and 
amended his conduct, and rather have quitted a 
pott that he held, which he difliked, and for 
which he was not qualified. But no ! he would 
not ad contrary to the will of his benefactor and 
protector Struenfee, who wanted him, for his 
own purpofes, to be about the King's perfon ; 
and Count Brandt, on his part, expected to be 
rewarded by his friend with greater honours and 

He in his department as direfteur des fpeftades, 

has aflifted Struenfee, to bring about a mif- 

underttanding in the royal family, by affigning 

to Prince Frederick a feparate box in the play- 

4 houfe 

( 304 ) 
houfe, led his Royal Highnefs fhould have aft 
opportunity, by being in the fame box with the 
King, to acquaint him with Count Brandt's 
and his intimate friend's mod blameable con- 

He has prevailed upon Struenfee to make 
him, within a fhort time, prefects out of the 
King's treafury to the amount of 6o,oco rix- 
dollars, though he was convinced, he neither 
for his fervices nor for his conduct deferved fuch 
a reward. 

When he returned his thanks to his Mnjefty 
for thefe great preients, he did not mention the 
fum, becaufe he was confeious that he was un- 
deferving of it, and becaufe Struenfee had 
defired him not to mention it, left the King 
fhould get an infight into that, which the ap- 
proved of extracts of accounts have fince 
clearly fhewn to his Majefty and every one 
who infpecls them. 

All thefe criminal actions are perpetrated by 
Count Brandt, and his confeience muft alfo 
tell him every moment, that he acted as a faith- 
lefs fubjeft, and particularly againft his duty 
and obligations on account of the efpecial fa- 
vour and confidence his Majefty" honoured him 
with : and befides all this, he was fo earneftly 
and fo fenfibly put in mind of his duty in two 


( 3°5 ) 
anonymous letters, which were found in his 
pocket-book, and wherein he was advifed con- 
cerning what he ought to have done, if he 
wifhed to preferve his head from the fcaffbld. 

He was ruled and guided by nothing but in- 
folence, ambition and avarice. 

Criminal as all thefe mentioned things are 
yet they are nothing in comparifon to what 
Count Enevold Brandt himfelf has confeffed, 
clearly and plainly before the King's commiffiorij 
and what is proved and confirmed by feveral 
witnefles -, That he has laid hands on the facred 
per/on of his Majefiy. For it may be confidered, 
as if he had attempted to kill his Majefty, be- 
caufe it cannot be foretold what the iffue of 
fuch an aflault might be, and an unlucky blow 
on a tender part has frequently been the caufe 
of death. 

He was angry at the King, and wanted fatis- 
faction of his royal mafter, whofe well deferved 
admonition he mould have received with re- 
pentance of his former behaviour towards him, 
and fnould have avoided coming into his pre- 
fence, left he mould offend him again. 

Inftead of this, he planned with his friend 

Struenfee, how and when he could beft aflault 

his Majefty, and confidered by himfelf, what 

weapons he was to ufe, which he kept in readi- 

X nefs, 

( 3°6 ) 

nefs, though upon fecond confideratkm he did 
not make ufe of them. 

Eeing told by Struenfee that the King was by 
himfelf, and that it was now time to put his 
defign into execution, he confiderately and with 
full intention to revenge himfelf, went to the 
King, turned the two pages that were in waiting 
out of the room, bolted the door, left any body 
mould come in to oppofe him and to prevent 
his defign, and forced his Majefty by words 
and by an aflaulr. to make refinance. 

He wounded the King in this fcuffle on the 
neck, and abufed his benefactor and his King 
with words and exprefiions ib mocking and 
rebellious, that every body muft forbear repeat- 
ing them. 

Though Count Brandt has faid in his de- 
fence, that his Majefty had forgiven him this - y 
yet, fuppoie it were fo, it cannot be underftood 
otherwiie, than that his Majefty would forbear 
punifhing ib great a crime for a while. This 
indulgence does not jufbify him, and his Majefty 
muft know beft how far it mould extend 


This deteftable and traitercus action of Count 

Brandt, cannot be confidered otherwife than as 

an open attempt upon the King's perfon, and 

cannot fall under any other denomination than 


( 3°7 ) 
that of high-treafon, which deferves the punim- 
ment fixed upon fuch a crime in the Danifh 
code of laws, book vi. chap. 4. article 1. 

We] therefore judging accordingly, think it 
to be juft and right, that 

Count Enevold Brandt (hall have forfeited 
his honour, his life, and his eftates ; that he 
mail be degraded from his dignity as Count, 
and all other dignities which have been confer- 
red upon him. His coat of arms which he had 
as Count, mall be broken by the executioner 
on the fcaffbld •, likewife (hall Count Enevold 
Brandt's right hand and afterwards his head be 
cut off when alive, his body mall be quartered 
and laid upon the wheel, and his head and his 
hand fhall be ftuck upon a pole. 

Given by the King's commiflion at the caftle 
of ChriPuanfburg, April the 25th, 1772. 

I. K. Juel Wind. G. A. Braem. H. Stampe. 

(L. S.) fL. S.) (L. S.) 

Luxdorph. A. G. Carllens. Kcfod Ancher. 

(L. S.) (L. S.) (L.S.) 

I. E. E. Schmidt. F. C. Sevel. O. Guldberg. 

(L.S.) (L.S.) (L.S.) 


The approbation of the King is as follows. 


i 308 ) 

We hereby approve in all points of the fentencej 
pronounced by the commifiion of enquiry which 
we had appointed at our caftle of Chriftianfburg, 
againft Enevold Brandt, on account of his 
deteftable and traiterous defign and affault upon 
our own perfon, that he fhall have forfeited his 
honour, life, and eftate, fhall be deprived of his 
dignity as Count, and all other dignities which 
have been conferred upon him, his coat of arms 
fhall be broken by the executioner on the 
fcaffold ; that his right hand, and afterwards his 
head, mail be cut off when alive ; his body 
fhall be quartered and laid upon the wheel, and 
his head and his hand fhall be ftuck upon a 
pole. Whereupon thofe whom it concerns are 
commanded to act accordingly. 

Given at our caftle of Chriftianfburg, the 27th 
of April, 1772. 

O. Tott 


Luxdorph. A. Schumacher* 
Dons. Hoyer. 

F I N I &.